Six Nations: England defeat 'hurts' admits Leicester Tigers' Parling
A despondent Geoff Parling admitted that England threw away a "massive opportunity" as their Six Nations Grand Slam hopes were brought to an ugly end in Cardiff on Saturday night.
The Leicester Tigers lock gave a brutally honest and damning assessment of his side after a 30-3 defeat at the Millennium Stadium.
Two tries by winger Alex Cuthbert were the highlight of 21 unanswered points in the second half to give delirious Wales the Six Nations title.
"That was a massive opportunity lost," said Parling. "How many people get an opportunity to win a Grand Slam? And we have lost the Six Nations too.
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"It hurts and it has been a tough old day. We have got to bottle this feeling, use it and come back stronger.
"We showed character in Dublin and France and this team has a lot of that. But when the really big one came around, we let ourselves down.
"We are not going to look back at the last four games that we have won and be pleased after what has happened."
The result earned Wales a record victory over England, usurping the 25-0 scoreline in 1905. It also gave Rob Howley's side the Six Nations title.
England were still in it at the break as Wales led 9-3.
But they could not live with the Welsh power after the interval and with the brilliant Justin Tipuric dominating the breakdown and England's scrum giving away penalty after penalty, the visitors ended the game in tatters.
"Every element of our game just did not work. It was so frustrating," added Parling.
"It wasn't one thing, we were beaten in all areas of the park.
"They got the better of us at the ruck and were more clinical with the ball. The effort and spirit was there but the game we wanted to play didn't turn up on the big occasion. The little bits and pieces didn't work. We didn't play well.
"It was the first time that this group of players have been under the posts (after conceding a try) and been too far behind to get back into the game. If we have lost games, it has been by seven points or so and it was a surprise to be in that position."