This morning's World Cup final at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium must rank as one of the most entertaining, full-blooded affairs to ever be witnessed on a Rugby League field. Despite points being at a premium - Australia eventually triumphed as 6-0 winners - the match was nothing short of superb. England came so close to registering a first win over the Kangaroos in 13 attempts, yet ultimately, did not do enough for the right to be called world champions; Australia, on the other hand, withstood a ferocious England fightback and, in doing so, claimed the Paul Barriere Trophy for a record 11th time.

But, it was a missed opportunity for England; despite Australia demolishing all their opponents up to the final and England ranked as firm underdogs, they were there for the taking and, if it had not been for a miraculous Josh Dugan ankle tap on Kallum Watkins and too many errors with ball-in-hand once more, it could have been a different story.

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The question on most fans' lips now though is what happens now?

The Wayne Bennett conundrum

A controversial appointment in the first place when he took over the reins following Steve McNamara's departure, Wayne Bennett has done little to win over England fans in the short space of time he has coached the side. Before the final, the veteran Aussie coach remarked that his goal was to make the World Cup final when he became boss two years ago. Although Bennett achieved this aim, he failed to mastermind a victory over his home nation as he did in his time as New Zealand coach when the Kiwis stunned Australia in the 2008 World Cup Final.

Bennett's contract with the RFL is effectively up and he has not committed himself to a new deal, nor have the RFL appeared keen to pin him down long-term. And, he is rumoured to be New Zealand's main target after their dismal tournament this time around.

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Before the World Cup had even begun, Bennett failed to warm English hearts. His 24-man squad for the tournament drew in a cacophony of criticism with those such as Chris Heighington - 35 years old and well past his best - and Ben Currie - injured for the majority of the year - very lucky to be in the side whilst others such as Michael Shenton and Greg Eden were left out despite having stellar seasons.

Bennett's team choices whilst at the tournament have also baffled many a viewer; Mark Percival - a world-class centre in the prime of his career - has been nothing but a spectator for most of the World Cup, despite his position being filled by natural second-rower John Bateman. Bennett has also persevered with Josh Hodgson at hooker regardless of James Roby's impact on England's attacking prowess whilst Mike McMeeken and Scott Taylor have both been ignored despite the inconsistency of England's forward pack.

And, even when captain Sean O'Loughlin was forced out of the final earlier in the week, Bennett chose to bring Jonny Lomax onto the bench rather than McMeeken or Taylor.

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England's pack would need all the help it could get against a formidable Australian front-row of Aaron Woods and David Klemmer alongside back-rowers such as Boyd Cordner. The decision to replace O'Loughlin with Lomax was thus just yet another example of one of Bennett's perplexing decisions as England coach. Yet, despite all this, Bennett got England to the World Cup final for the first time in 22 years and is one of the highest-rated coaches in the game. Does he just need more time?

English choices

Bennett, if he does indeed go, needs to be replaced by an English coach from the English game; Bennett, in his time as England manager, has tried to adopt the NRL, tough, physical approach with charismatic club players such as Luke Gale appearing constrained. Such players appear to have been diverted them away from their normal, Super League game. On the other hand, an English coach such as the 2017 Coach of the Year Daryl Powell, can get this England team moving around the pitch, playing off-the-cuff, exciting Rugby League - the like of which earned his club, Castleford Tigers, the League Leaders' Shield for the first time in their history in 2017.

Bennett has got this England team tight and secure in defence, but, the England attack has often been dreary, disjointed and lacking any real spark in this tournament. With Daryl Powell - or other English Super League coaches like Leeds Rhinos' Brian McDermott, Hull FC's Lee Radford or even Wigan's Shaun Wane - at the helm, you are guaranteed a more Super League-esque approach. This means less of the five drives and a kick type play that Bennett has been accustomed to in the NRL and more of the expansive and inventive style that gets results in England and which, when it has been adopted at the World Cup, has got England on the front foot.

The past month or so has also highlighted that whilst the England team has the passion to play for their country, Bennett - being Australian - simply does not have that same allegiance and does not understand what it means to the English nation to beat the Aussies. Although the 67-year-old did the business in 2008 with the Kiwis, it will take someone with a deep pride in the country to be able to give the England players the confidence to make a victory over Australia possible. And, Powell is a terrific man-manager - just look at how he has unearthed talent like McMeeken and Greg Minikin and brought them to top of their game - so, if anyone can inspire the players and give them the composure and killer touch that England so often lacked in the final, he can.

Difficulty in getting new blood

England fans must get sick of the sight of seeing the same old names in the side. Chris Heighington and Sean O'Loughlin are both 35, Kevin Brown 33, James Roby and James Graham 32; although Roby and Graham have been outstanding in this tournament, it is time to re-energise the England team. The likes of fullback Jamie Shaul and winger Greg Eden are 25 and 27 respectively and both were seriously unlucky not to be called up to the England side. Hooker Paul McShane (28) and scrum-half Marc Sneyd (26) are both surely within earshot of an England call-up in the near future too and both still have a lot of years ahead of them in the sport.

The trouble is though that the declining standards of Super League means that there are fewer English players rising to the top. Whilst Luke Gale, for example, dominates games for Castleford Tigers, he's not up against defences as good as Australia's. Herein lies the problem; he - and most of his England teammates - need more intense competition if England are going to match up to their ancient foe in the future. This is an issue which the RFL have so far swept under the carpet and one which needs urgently addressing.

Australian supremacy

England continue to be second-best to the Aussies; a 12-game losing streak became 13 by the end of a rip-roaring eighty minutes. And, whilst Australia claimed their 11th World Cup title and second in succession, England are waiting for their first since the Great Britain team won it all the way back in 1972. Whether Bennett stays on as coach - an outcome which the England players have spoken in favour of - or is replaced - an outcome which most England fans want, one thing is for sure, something needs to change.

Australia simply have England within a grapple which the latter cannot escape from. And, despite being dominant for the majority of the final, England failed to break free; England have shown they have the players to potentially beat Australia, but, the question is, do they have the coach? England need someone special at the helm if they are to finally overcome their Kangaroo hoodoo and, although Bennett is a coach with an enviable CV, is he really the man to take England forward? #RLWC2017 #bbcrl #AUSvENG