MARTIN CORRY dusted himself down after England's ruthless demolition job on Tri-Nations champions South Africa and declared: "I've waited a long time for this."
Fly-half Charlie Hodgson will inevitably hog the headlines following his record-equalling dis-play that highlighted comfortably England's finest performance since they won the World Cup.
But number eight Corry and the England pack deserve unstinting praise for shunting South Africa's much-vaunted forward unit not so much into touch, but through the advertising hoardings and into row Z.
England, playing with unlimited levels of desire and energy, dismantled the Springboks pack with ruthless efficiency.
And Corry, who made just his third Twickenham start in a 32-cap England career that includes 19 appearances off the replacements' bench,, relished his role as chief destroyer.
England might no longer have retired back-row heroes like Lawrence Dallaglio and Neil Back available, but Corry, in tandem with tireless flankers Joe Worsley and Lewis Moody, made a definitive statement for coach Andy Robinson's new-look team.
"I've waited a long time for this. I was just desperate to get on and play as well as the jersey deserves," said the Leicester stalwart.
"Being behind (Richard) Hill, Back and Dallaglio for so many years has made it a real battle. That is why I was desperate for the chance. I never knew whether it would come, and this match was probably it.
"I've got 32 caps, but not very many of those have been for 80 minutes. Now, I want to make a starting place my own. I am desperate to prove myself and become an established international player," he added..
"Andy Robinson held a forwards meeting on Friday night,
and talked about everyone who had felt frustration with selection. That meeting rang true for me.
"We were playing against the best team in the world at the minute, and I just let all the emotion I had built up come out."
England outgunned South Africa in every significant contact area, claiming 10 possession turnovers to the Springboks' three, missing nine tackles to their opponents' 13 and proving doubly effective from ruck situations.
Crucially, England also kept their discipline, conceding just five penalties on an afternoon when Hodgson emerged triumphantly from Jonny Wilkinson's shadow as the world champions clocked up their sixth successive victory over South Africa.
While Wilkinson continues his recovery from a bicep injury - he will also miss next Saturday's World Cup final rematch against Australia - England perhaps wondered where their inspiration would come from.
But Sale Sharks playmaker Hodgson gloriously came up trumps, contributing 27 points as he went through the scoring card with a try, drop-goal, five penalties and two conversions.
It equalled the England individual points record against South Africa, jointly held by Wilkinson and his Newcastle mentor Rob Andrew.
South Africa turned up for a scrap at Twickenham two years ago, losing both their discipline and the game - by a record 53--3 margin - but this time,, they barely turned up.
Full-back Percy Montgomery kicked three penalties and a conversion of substitute wing Bryan Habana's late try, yet the Grand Slam tour so coveted when they flew in from Johannesburg 17 days ago has now become a depressing journey.
"We knew what it takes to front-up to a Springboks pack," said prop Graham Rowntree. "I don't think I have ever had a more satisfying day in an England jersey, not at the coalface like that."