Saturday night was a hard one for England fans as they saw their beloved team exit the World Cup a matter of minutes after their qualification seemed secured.
The men in white led the game right up until the 78th minute when Handre Pollard sank English hearts with a calmly struck 50 metre boot over the posts.
The England players were in bits following the final whistle, after a match that appeared to be in their control all the way through. The atmosphere outside the pitch mirrored the players on it; fans were incredibly proud of their side but also felt cheated of their World Cup final appearance.
There were echoes from French fans one week previously; “We know how you feel” came the sympathetic voice of every French bartender around Paris that evening.
No matter the kind words from rival supporters, the loss was made no easier. A thought that appeared to be playing on the mind of the England prop, Joe Marler.
In a three word tweet, Marler said “We blew it”.
This would have likely been Marler’s final opportunity to win a World Cup, so the pain would likely equal many other teammates, and players from other countries that will be ending their international careers before the next World Cup.
Fans were not happy to enable Marler’s point of view, however, and stuck up for him and his teammates in a flurry of supportive comments.
“First 50/60 minutes were absolutely magnificent” one supporter said, “My wife, not a massive rugby fan, sensed the desperation to win and the incredible fight. It was a brilliant effort.”
Another pleaded with Marler to continue onto 2027, “Nah you boys did good. #Eng could’ve done with 4 Joe Marlers yesterday. You’ve got one more left in you, just win it next time.”
The overwhelming majority of comments mirrored this one, “No you didn’t, you showed the whole world the values of Rugby”
England have one more match to say goodbye to their fans, Argentina on Saturday in the 3/4 place playoff at the Stade de France.