England Rugby League World Cup player ratings
England's disappointing World Cup campaign was finally put out of its misery with the team's 32-22 semi-final defeat by New Zealand on Saturday.
Tony Smith's team left British shores full of optimism but after a scratchy victory over Papua New Guinea suffered their record World Cup defeat against Australia and lost twice in consecutive weeks to New Zealand.
But how did the England players rate during the tournament? Here is what I think. Feel free to disagree - I'd be disappointed if you didn't.
Rob Burrow - Will return home with his reputation enhanced after showing that his size - he stands 5ft 5in - can be an advantage. Ducked under tackles, broke the line and was a scurrying bundle of energy in a team that lacked invention, though his kicking, not his specialist area, wasn't brilliant. 7
Mark Calderwood - Got his chance after Lee Smith picked up an injury against PNG. He might have ended the domestic season in scintillating form but looked shaky in defence in Australia and hardly caught the eye in attack. 4
Ade Gardner - Started with two tries against PNG but generally lacked the quality of service he receives from Matt Gidley at St Helens. Defence was suspect to say the least and decision-making poor at times, particularly in the semi-final. 5
Gareth Ellis - Super off-load led to England's opening try in the semi-final but a relatively quiet tournament for the second rower who will be staying in Australia following his move to Wests Tigers. Still got through plenty of work in defence. 6
Maurie Fa'asavalu - An injury to his hand in the thrashing by Australia in Melbourne brought his tournament to a premature end. As such the Samoan-born prop did not really make the expected impact from the bench. 5
Martin Gleeson - One of the few plus points. The Warrington centre showed his class, running some great lines and scoring three tries. Even so, he was not immune to the handling errors that blighted the campaign, with New Zealand scoring a crucial try in the semi-final after he knocked-on. 7
James Graham - Travelled to Australia with a burgeoning reputation. Did not have a poor tournament and got through an incredible amount of work but did not really shine as many expected. Came up with some uncharacteristic errors in the semi-final. 6
Mickey Higham - Given his chance in the group match against the Kiwis and caught the eye with his direct running from dummy half. Started in the semi-final and can go home with his head held high. 6
Gareth Hock - Started the campaign against PNG but had slipped out of the 17 by the time of the semi-final. The second rower did not create the breaks or show the off-loading skills that Smith would have hoped for. 5
Jamie Jones-Buchanan - In good form at the end of the domestic season and started the group game against NZ. Did not do enough to retain his place. 4
Jamie Langley - Another who only played in the group game defeat against New Zealand. The Bradford Bulls forward came on as an interchange and did not keep his place the following week. 4
Danny McGuire - An opportunistic finisher, always looking to sniff out an opening or support a break - traits he showed in Australia. Progressed from the interchange bench to starting against the Kiwis in the semi-final and scored two excellent tries. Not much of a kicking game. 7
Adrian Morley - It was no surprise that England visibly improved after he came off the bench in the semi-final and added some much needed go-forward. At 33, the former Sydney City Rooster is coming to the end of his career and the prop gave his all. One of England's best players. 7
Jamie Peacock - England's skipper - named forward of the year in 2006 and 2007 - did not take a backward step and his try in the semi-final came from sheer force of will. Time and again he showed-up in attack, taking the ball at first receiver and running at the opposition, while he got through loads of work in defence. Deserved better. 8
Leon Pryce - The biggest disappointment of all? He caused a brouhaha in the Aussie media by saying he preferred Blackpool to Bondi the last time he was down under but there were no shockwaves on or off the pitch this time. A stand-off with the ability to cut open any defence but he had a very quiet tournament and disappeared from games when we needed him most. His kicking game was poor as well. 3
Rob Purdham - Got his chance in the group game against New Zealand and was solid at loose forward. Kept his place for the semi-final and his pin-point kick that led to McGuire's first try was excellent but his goal-kicking was poor. He made several uncharacteristic errors, including kicking the ball dead from a restart. The Kiwis scored a minute later. 5
James Roby - Solid enough but the interpretation of the rules - allowing players to lay-on at the tackle - limited his ability to burst forward from the play-the-ball. Showed his power in barging over for England's only try against Australia but was billed as England's most dangerous player and did not really make the expected impact. 6
Keith Senior - Caught out of position several times against PNG and at 32 it looked like the miles on the clock were catching up with the centre. Improved through the tournament but rarely broke the gain line. 5
Kevin Sinfield - What happened to the inch-perfect kicking game that guided Leeds to their Grand Final win? A pale shadow of the player we see manoeuvring the Rhinos around the park and was left out of the 17 for the semi-final. 5
Lee Smith - What might have been? Came into the tournament on the back of a man of the match performance for Leeds in the Grand Final and scored a hat-trick against PNG but picked up a foot injury. Returned in the group game against the Kiwis but had a quiet evening. 6
Paul Sykes - Only played in the group game against New Zealand and had a night to forget. Unfortunate in that defensive reshuffles meant he played in the centre, on the wing and at full-back. Nonetheless, he was constantly caught out of position as England's defence capitulated. 3
Ben Westwood - The Warrington second rower impressed with two strong showings against the Kiwis. Caught the eye of several respected Australia observers with his surging runs and was capable in defence. 6
Paul Wellens - A very difficult few weeks for the St Helens full-back, who was comprehensively outshone by opposite number Billy Slater in the game against the Aussies. Wellens lacked pace bringing the ball forward, seemed unusually brittle in defence and was withdrawn in the second half of the semi-final after an error strewn display. Mind you, playing behind England's defensive line is hardly something to steady the nerves. 4
Jon Wilkin - Included for his pace and ability to break the line - attributes he clearly possesses - but he had few opportunities to showcase them in Australia. 5
So there you have it - of course rugby league is a team game and these individual ratings don't really take into account some of the problems that blighted England as a whole.
The defence was awful, the kicking game lacked any kind of pattern (or, being charitable, was terribly executed), the core skills were disappointing and, against Australia and in the first match against the Kiwis, the team lacked aggression.
After months of looking forward to this World Cup I am crushingly disappointed.