Devastated Cheika asks for more time
A crestfallen Michael Cheika has pleaded for more time - and a bit of sympathy from the hordes of furious Australian rugby fans calling for his head to roll - before he decides his future as Wallabies coach.
Insisting it "won't kill" anyone if he waits a bit longer before deciding his plans, Cheika is unlikely to have either of his wishes granted despite telling journalists to back off after he oversaw Australia's worst-ever World Cup campaign.
"It's a cruel, cruel world when you have to answer those questions two minutes after your World Cup (is over)," Cheika said.
"If you find it inside you to find a little bit of compassion, just ask some more relevant questions because I tell you, for me, I came here with only one thought in mind, winning the World Cup and that thought has just disappeared now.
"And I know that's what the papers demand and perhaps whatever each news outlet or whatever is thinking about, just chill."
His plea for understanding didn't work. Grilled again about whether he would honour his pledge to quit if the Wallabies didn't win the World Cup, he snapped back: "When the time comes, I'll tell them. They don't need to know today it's not going to kill them."
Once hailed as the saviour of Australian rugby after leading the Wallabies to the 2015 final, Cheika's second attempt at winning the Webb Ellis Cup ended in a trainwreck but he defended his attack at all costs tactics and constant tinkering with the lineups.
"I thought we actually played quite well, especially the first 50 or 60, yeah we gave away two intercepts, and they defended well - like you've got to," he said.
"The better team won, that's the way it is. You've got to suck that up sometimes.
"I want all the Aussies at home and that are here to know that - they gave it everything, they put their bodies on the line, we made a few mistakes at different times, but they've given everything these lads and they're a credit to their country."
The Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper, playing in his 99th Test, was also shattered by the loss, particularly because it marked the end of the international careers of several senior players, including David Pocock and Will Genia.
"We played an attacking style of rugby, which really threatened the English there today," Hooper said.
"What the English did really well was control the restarts. We weren't able to exit our area well and, on the flip side of that, we weren't able to restart and get back into the game the way we wanted, so congratulations to England. A good win there.
"We're really upset. We emptied everything into this. We didn't get it, which is pretty gutting for a lot of reasons.
"Firstly, there's a lot of our guys who are leaving. Secondly, we had a great supporter base over here to push us along and we really felt it along the way, so to not be able to do it for them, and for ourselves, is pretty gutting."