England pushed South Africa hard in Paris last night, but, in the end, it was the Springboks superior strength, determination, fitness, skill and quality that nudged them clear of the World Cup holders.
It was a close game, and from the early exchanges to the nail-biting finish, both teams gave everything they had - South Africa giving just that little bit more than their English counterparts to run out 36-0 trouncers.
Things could have been oh-so-different though had England picked other players, or tried harder and had that all-important skill factor that the South Africans had in abundance.
South Africa raced into a 10-0 lead, which they increased to 20-0 at halftime. After the break this quickly became 36-0 and, although things were neck-and-neck and nip-and-tuck, there was only going to one winner, and it wasn't England.
It's now back to the drawing board for the hapless World Chumpions who will be despatched back to Blighty if they don't beat Samoa in their next match.
England coach Brian Ashton said:
"We were in it until the last 80 minutes, but after that it was all one way."