( AFP ) - Australian commentators on Sunday slammed the Wallabies as an "error-riddled" team which showed "sheer stupidity" by allowing themselves to be outplayed by England in the World Cup.
Australia went into the competition with hopes of reaching the finals but were unceremoniously knocked out on Saturday by an English team which came back from a half-time deficit to win 12-10 at Stade Velodrome in Marseilles.
Favourites New Zealand were also dumped from the competition, failing to reach the semifinals for the first time, following a 20-18 loss to France.
"You've got to be choking, it's a new world order," read a headline on the Sydney Morning Herald's website.
The paper's rugby site said the England-Australia quarterfinal, which kicked off late Saturday Sydney time, had "some claim to be the worst game of the World Cup."
The match, in which Australia scored the only try, was saved by England's attacking energy, ability to control possession and dominance of the scrum, it said.
"Yes, last night's game was terrible, but England recognised their limitations, played well within those confines and played positively," it said.
"That leaves only one team as the culprit -- the error-riddled Wallabies."
Rugby commentator Roy Masters said Australia were "absolutely no challenge at all to a very resolute England" and laid some of the blame at the feet of retiring coach John Connolly.
"The area where Australia really lost, which no one anticipated and can only come down to a very poor match plan from the coach, is that every time we received the ball... although in our own half, it was from kicks," he said.
"Now we have perhaps one of the best backlines in all of the World Cup yet rather than link and run the ball back against a fairly disorganised, disintegrating English opposition, what did we do? We kicked it back to them.
"It was sheer stupidity," he told ABC television from Marseilles.
Connolly himself has admitted the Marseilles match was Australia's "worst performance" of the World Cup.
On Australian rugby blogs, there was as much praise for the English as criticism for the failings of the Australians.
"The best team won hands down and valuable, albeit hard, lessons have been learnt again," wrote Nathan Bracks of Brisbane on News Ltd's site.
"Let's just hope this time the Wallabies actually do something about it. I can't take losing to you Poms like this anymore."
But Sydney Morning Herald sports writer Jacqueline Magnay said whatever Australia's Wallabies woes, they would be small in comparison to All Blacks supporters.
"I have some sympathy for our Tasman neighbours that, as bad as we feel this morning, just how bad they must be feeling?" she said.
"What do they have to do to win the World Cup? They were odds-on favourites, they've done everything right and they just choked."