Australia sent England tumbling into the Rugby World Cup abyss on 3 October, when they demolished the hosts 33-13 at Twickenham, to ensure the 2003 champions would take no further part in their own tournament after the pool stage.
Flyhalf Bernard Foley did most to break English hearts by racking up 28 points, including two sparkling tries, as Australia booked a place in the quarter-finals and took Wales through with them from Pool A.
The mobility of the Wallabies, epitomised by the outstanding David Pocock at number eight, always gave them an edge and while England had hoped their traditional dominance at the scrum would give them a foothold, they were bullied, battered and beaten in a remarkable turnaround in Australian set-piece techniques. Saturday's defeat meant England became the first former winners of the Webb Ellis Cup to fail to make the quarter-finals. England coach Stuart Lancaster said he was absolutely gutted.
"Well done to Australia on the win today and obviously from my point of view and obviously Chris's as well, we are absolutely gutted to be going out of the World Cup, more so our own World Cup obviously. Words can't express how disappointed we are and we've had some fantastic supporters and we feel we've let them down so credit to Australia, I thought they are probably one of the best sides we've played in the last 12-18 months and they deserved the win," said Lancaster.
Lancaster will consider his future as coach after Saturday's crushing defeat which ensured England will be the first main host to fail to reach the knock-out stage of rugby's showpiece tournament.
"Yeah, yeah, obviously I think you know I've got to, it's not just going to be my decision, but it's not one for now. We've still got another week to go, we've got to go up to Manchester and put in a good performance against Uruguay so, but as I said during the week you know the responsibility and the accountability lies with me so clearly," said Lancaster.
Criticised by former players for England's displays on the field, Lancaster has won plaudits for reconnecting the national side with its fan base after a poor tournament in New Zealand in 2011. He urged the country not to turn on a young England team that was comprehensively out-thought and outfought over the 80 minutes. Lancaster conceded his team appeared to lack the killer instinct, having come up short against Australia after losing to Wales 28-25.
"It was a tough pool and we put ourselves in a real tough position by losing that game last week and that was a small margin and big consequence in hindsight," Lancaster said.