McNamara said: “It was very scratchy, probably our worst performance.
“In the other three games, there’s been some positive things, but I think tonight we played with no fear of the opposition, and that didn’t help us, and we put in a substandard performance.
“I think it’s quite clear we need to step up a lot (against New Zealand).”
McNamara added: “We didn’t start particularly well, and we had a chance to rectify that, but the second half error count was one of the highest I’ve ever seen.
“No disrespect to France, but I think our team plays better when there’s an element of fear, and if they don’t get it right, they understand the consequences.”
England will face the Kiwis at Wembley on Saturday in the first of the semi-final double headers, in what organisers are calling “The Big Hit”.
In the other semi-final, Australia, fresh from their 62-0 thrashing of USA, will play the winners of the fourth quarter final between Samoa and Fiji, which takes place at Warrington on Sunday afternoon.
Photo courtesy of www.swpix.com