Kiwi coach Stephen Kearney looked like he was on the losing side when he emerged from the dressing room.

Although pleased they had reached their third World Cup final, he knew the same performance would not stack up against a rampaging Australia.

“It’s a wonderful achievement but I am disappointed with a few aspects of our game,” he said.

Asked what areas New Zealand could improve, Kearney said: “How big is your [note] pad?”

“A lot of areas. I just thought for 30 minutes in the first half we showed what we were capable of … then we drifted in and out.

“That’s not going to be good enough next week. We don’t need to be told what we are up against.”

Kiwi captain Nathan Cayless also looked glum.

“There were parts of the game we can be happy with but we are disappointed we let them back in the game,” he said.

Three times England came back to within a try of New Zealand before Marshall’s late match-winner finally put an anxious Kearney out of his misery.

“Not for one minute did I think we had the match in the bag. I know what they are capable of,” Kearney said of England.

Shattered England coach Tony Smith lamented ten errors in each half.

“It was there for us, there was an opportunity. But because of the errors in the first half we didn’t take it,” he said.

“We weren’t really [nervous]. Some players put balls down that they normally don’t put down.

“I am shattered. We all wanted to do well in this tournament.

“But we didn’t produce [the level] that we can play in England — that’s the disappointing thing.”

England captain Peacock added: “Sport is brutal.

“There is no in the middle at this level. When you win it is fantastic, when you lose it’s the worst ever — it kills you.”