The English media has sunk the boot into its hapless rugby league team, with the country’s papers and websites tearing strips off Tony Smith’s men after their 52-4 defeat by Australia.
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One writer, The Telegraph ‘s David Burke, said the mismatch between the sides was like "Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren lining up against Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".

In The Guardian , Andy Wilson said in all the dark days of British rugby league, there were "none more depressing than this".

He went onto say the result had left the reputation of the World Cup, as well as the English side, in a dire state.

"Now their credibility, and with it that of the World Cup as anything other than an entertaining four-week jamboree to determine who will finish runners-up to Australia, is in tatters," Wilson wrote.

"It is best to draw a discreet veil over England’s second-half performance other than to acknowledge a memorable second try for Slater who galloped 90 metres having been set free by Inglis."

In The Times , Christopher Irvine was downright depressed after the disastrous result.

"Oh dear, what a calamity. A Melbourne massacre for a depressingly bad and clueless England," he wrote, before suggesting the team depart the city in a clandestine fashion.

"England barely mounted an attack of note while their defence collapsed as Joel Monaghan, Slater, Inglis and Laffranchi ran riot. Scott Prince was magical – a player whistled up at late notice for Johnathan Thurston. The scrum half gave a great display against beleagured opponents. Time to leave Melbourne, quietly."

The tabloids were predictably blunt, with Julie Stott telling readers of The Sun, "England should think about packing their bags after this World Cup embarrassment.

"This humiliation must go down as England’s lowest point of the last few decades," Stott said.

She criticised the English for being all talk and no action.

"Plenty of words had been spouted in the build-up to the tournament about how the Kangaroos’ 36-year grip on the big prize was about to end.

"But, on this performance, we’re a million miles away from being able to hack it with the world champions."

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