Head coach Andy Robinson gave a brutally frank assessment of England's 31-6 RBS Six Nations Championship defeat to France and admitted: "We were awful."
England never recovered from gifting Florian Fritz a try inside the first minute. Dimitri Yachvili, who finished with 16 points, booted France into a 16-3 half-time lead before Damien Traille and Christophe Dominici rounded off the victory with second-half tries.
It was England's seventh defeat in 14 Six Nations games since the World Cup and their heaviest in the championship for 20 years.
And Robinson did not mince his words.
"We have got to be totally up front - we were awful," he said.
"We have performed poorly in all aspects of the game, right from the first whistle and allowing France to score seven points.
"Whenever we had the ball we either kicked very poorly and didn't find touch or we knocked on and turned it over.
"We knew over here it was about silencing the crowd. Yet the band played. The players are stunned.
"This is very, very disappointing and as the person in charge it is important I take responsibility for it. Since I've been involved this is the most disappointing performance we have had."
England's preparations were badly affected as gastroenteritis swept through the camp on Saturday night, affecting Matt Dawson, Steve Thompson and Mike Tindall plus replacements Lee Mears and Tom Voyce.
Dawson was hit hardest and was not cleared to play until minutes before kick-off, forcing England to call up Worcester's Andy Gomarsall as cover.
Bristol's Shaun Perry was the first choice but he paid the penalty of having his mobile phone switched off.
Robinson desperately tried to contact the scrum-half, still in his first Premiership season, to get him on a flight out of Bristol Airport to Paris.
Calls were also made to Bristol head coach Richard Hill at 10am to see if he would release Perry.
But as Robinson was unable to contact the former Dudley Kingswin-ford and Coventry player in time, it fell to Gomarsall to make what in the end was an unnecessary trip.
Robinson refused to use the illness as an excuse for s uch a shambolic performance.
"The issues we had in the game, the tries France scored, were not because of that," said Robinson.
But he did admit he may have to reassess England's World Cup chances after back-to-back defeats to Scotland and France.
Robinson has previously spoken of how confident he is that England can retain their World Cup in France next year.
"It tests your thought process," said Robinson.
"I am very confident in what we are trying to achieve. I am disappointed for the players and the magnificent support.
"We know when you play France that if you give them opportunities you will do well to stay in the game. We gave them far too many opportunities to show how good they were."
France coach Bernard Laporte felt his side had magnificently exploited England's fragile confidence following their defeat to Scotland a fortnight ago and is confident Les Bleus can go on to beat Wales and win the Six Nations title.
"Our objective now is to go to Wales and win the title," said Laporte.
"This was an important match because the result was a determining factor in who wins the tournament. "We haven't won the title yet, but we are on the right track.
"The players handled the pressure very well and with a lot of determination. That is what made the difference today. We had a high level of intensity, particularly around the tackling zone."