Martin Corry could not hide his disappointment after England were thrashed 36-0 by South Africa in tonight’s World Cup Pool A match.
The world champions were second best from start to finish and now must beat Samoa to stand a realistic chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Stand-in skipper Corry said on ITV1: “We’re very disappointed about the game and the performance. Early on, we gave them opportunities to score and they took them.
“They showed great finishing expertise but we gave them those opportunities.
“We knew it was always going to be a green wall. We felt if we weren’t going to go around it, we’d have to go through it.”
He added: “We’ve got to get over this game first and we’ve got an incredibly tough match against Samoa coming up.
“Of course we’re going to be ready for it. We’ll get over this defeat and do all we have to do to be ready for Samoa.”
Coach Brian Ashton admitted England had not moved on from their dismal display against the United States and claimed the match was over at half-time.
“[We’re] probably standing still to be honest,” he said.
“This was a much greater challenge and we knew it was going to be.
“We had some opportunities to nail down some field position and we didn’t do it.
“They played that part of the game much, much better than we did. I thought their kicking game was outstanding.
“By half-time, effectively on the scoreboard, the game was over.”
He added: “We had a go at the guys, which was fully justified too. I thought some of the individual play showed up much better in the second half.
“Disappointing then that we didn’t get some points on the board because we had some opportunities.”
Looking ahead to the crucial match with Samoa, Ashton said: “Monday morning, we’ve got to think about how to beat Samoa. This is now a must-win game and it’s going to be a tough challenge for us but we’re going to have to do it.
Asked whether he would make wholesale changes, he added: “We need to look at the game (today) to see what the starting XV will be.”