CLIVE WOODWARD ripped apart England’s heartbreaking 15-16 defeat to the All Blacks in brutal fashion.
The 2003 World Cup-winning coach also blasted boss Eddie Jones for giving his players too much control as they went for the Hollywood finish — instead of kicking penalties to win it.
Throwing away a 15-0 lead after one of the greatest starts Twickenham had ever witnessed, England started chasing tries as they went for the jugular.
After kicking to the corner twice in the second half when pegged back at 15-13, Woodward said: “Those calls were wrong.
“If you sat down with your team in a classroom and outlined the situation — there are ten minutes to go, it’s pouring down, do we go for the line-out or take the three points?
“I think every player would say kick the goal. You have to take that on to the pitch and not get carried away with emotion.
“There were lots of plus points, but they lost. I would be pretty cranky if I was in Eddie’s shoes.
“As the days go on, they will become a little more angry with themselves. I don’t believe coaching and playing for England is about building for the future. It’s about the here and now.”
Twickenham was buzzing with what they had just seen after one of the greatest ever Tests.
But it was a case of deja vu — a throwback to the 2015 World Cup defeat to Wales when Chris Robshaw rejected a shot at goal and the chance to seal a quarter-final spot.
And comparing it to when his side blew the 1999 Five Nations Grand Slam as they turned down a kick against Wales, Woodward said: “That was the hardest moment I’ve ever had to take as a coach — and it never happened again.
“If you’ve got the chance of taking the drop-goal and getting three points, build the score.
“England had a chance of adding the points to go 18-13 up. New Zealand scored only one try and we went for the line-out. That was a big mistake. Everyone is harping on about the try or no try from Sam Underhill, but, for me, not to take those points was a big error.
“These leadership decisions on the field of play are absolutely key. They are what win or lose you a World Cup and we need to get better.”
England fans were cursing the controversial call by TMO Marius Jonker that led to Underhill’s “winner” being scrubbed out, after a wafer-thin offside call went against Courtney Lawes.
Yet Jones, who backed all the calls made by his players, also praised them for their conduct when the win slipped away. He said: “It is difficult to swallow but you have to respect the referee. I was really proud of our players.
“They just got on with it and tried to win the game again.
“It’s a tribute to their character and how they respect the values of the game. We don’t challenge the referee, we don’t abuse him.
“We have to keep supporting the referees. I think it is important in today’s society that we keep that.
“The players thought it was a try but we are happy to follow what the TMO says.
“If we keep working hard as a unit, we will achieve our dream.”
Asked if he needed picking up, Jones joked: “I am lucky I’ve a dog that always loves me whether I win or lose.
“I will go home, see the dog and I am sure she will give me a lick. That’s why they call them man’s best friend.”