Quoted and noted from a stunning semi-final

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The Independent Online

"Raw guts and determination have saved us. I think my body has never felt so sore." - Jonny Wilkinson.

"It was a bit like Waterloo." - Caption in "L'Equipe" below a picture of dejected French players.

"Frustration! England put an end to the big blue dream ... There should be no regrets and no tears. The French team gave too little of what makes up the beauty of rugby to open the path to glory." - "Le Journal du Dimanche".

"The adventure has ended ... All the determination, all the sweat comes to a halt ... We have a lot of regrets but you have to turn the page otherwise it will haunt you." - Sébastien Chabal, replacement second row.

"England deserved to win. They didn't play much rugby but they took their chances and they controlled the match when it mattered most." - Serge Betsen, France flanker.

"The English did not do a great deal against us. They just waited. In these types of closely-fought matches, it is the team that is the more realistic that wins ... We have lost games against teams [Argentina and England] who have chosen not to play ... I am not sure that the English, playing like that, will win next week." - Yannick Jauzion, France centre.

"I would imagine they have run out of humble pie in the press room." - Joe Worsley, England replacement flanker.

"It's the team with the most experience and cool-headedness which won." - Thierry Dusautoir, France flanker.

"This England were not at the same level as the 2003 team ... On Saturday we lost because of a few wrong options. We may have played too much of the kicking game. We tried to play more but England's defence was so strong and organised it wasn't possible." - Bernard Laporte, France head coach.

"I just dived and got a bit of his leg. It is what games are won and lost on, and that was just one example of it." - Worsley on his tap tackle on Vincent Clerc.

"They were ferocious in the rucks. I was tackled countless times; I don't know, but it seemed like we didn't get enough support." - Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, France scrum-half.

"I thought they would be running it all over the shop but they just kept kicking it." - Lewis Moody, England flanker.

"We back players to be able to adapt, and this is what we did. In fact, we played too much rugby. About 10 minutes into the second half, we were throwing the ball around our 10 metre line. But why not kick for position and see what France could do with it? Because evidently, last night, they couldn't do much." - Brian Ashton, England head coach.

"You don't want to be losing in a final. Whatever has gone before now counts for nothing. We're in a World Cup final and you only get something for winners. We have got to win this World Cup." - Martin Corry, England flanker.

"What's most frustrating is the knowledge that we had our chance to win." - Frédéric Michalak, France replacement fly-half.

"England showed that they are a great team." - Laporte.

"I just can't imagine that this group of players will be satisfied with reaching the final. They want to create history." - Ashton.