Six Nations: England need to make changes - Martin Crowson's match verdict
For the second time in three seasons, England have ended a Six Nations tournament with a bitter taste in their mouths.
Their second-half dismantling by Wales at the Millennium Stadium not only ended hopes of a Grand Slam, it raised questions about how they had got there in the first place, so heavy was the margin of defeat.
It was a similar scenario to the comprehensive 24-8 drubbing by Ireland, in 2011.
A run of 21 consecutive points in the second half saw Wales run out 30-3 winners – an astonishing scoreline in a game that few people could call before kick-off.
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England were out-powered, out-played and out-fought by a Wales side that have built up a head of steam since their embarrassing start to the tournament against Ireland.
Apart from England's faltering scrum that creaked all night long, there was little in an incredibly physical first half and a 9-3 scoreline promised a fascinating second period.
But England's hopes unravelled at the minute Alex Cuthbert took advantage of turnover ball and shrugged off Mike Brown's challenge to score on 56 minutes.
In a tight game, a 17-3 deficit was always going to take some turning around and when Cuthbert scored again after great work by man-of-the-match Justin Tipuric, that was that.
England never looked like scoring, bar one serious threat when the game was dead and they ended the match well beaten.
Wales were better in every facet of the game except the line-out. They saved their best for last on the biggest stage and many of their ranks will have nudged ahead in the battle for a place on the British & Irish Lions plane this summer.
England were hammered – but this tournament has been a good chapter in this young side's development.
There is a togetherness and spirit brought together by a well-respected management team. This side will improve and they have the formations of a world-class side.
But they sorely missed loose-head prop Alex Corbisiero and No.8 Ben Morgan in Wales, both are out injured.
In the summer, they must begin to develop Worcester's Matt Kvesic or Harlequins' Luke Wallace as a genuine openside flanker. It is also time to blood someone with real pace out wide, like Wasps' Christian Wade.
Billy Twelvetrees should also be given time to develop a partnership with former Tigers team-mate Manu Tuilagi in the centres.
England are too predictable at their worst and need more invention behind the scrum. A fantastic fire and pyrotechnics show marked the moment that Gethin Jenkins lifted the Six Nations trophy for Wales.
For the locals, it marked a celebration that went long into the night. A 30-3 hammering to end the old enemy's Grand Slam hopes was the stuff dreams are made of.
For all the watching England players, with their arms folded and dejected faces, it frankly must have seemed like the gates of Hell.