RBS Six Nations champions Wales were brought back to earth with a thump at Twickenham on Saturday. Mike Ruddock's men were in contention at only 15-10 down at halftime, but England opposite Andy Robinson threw on his replacements and three of them - Lawrence Dallaglio, Matt Dawson and Tom Voyce - scored tries in a disastrous last quarter for Wales.
Wales were hit by the loss of Gareth Delve (hamstring) on Saturday morning, bringing to 13 the number of top-line players unavailable through injury, suspension or retirement. Scarlets lock Adam Jones replaced Delve on the bench.
England soaked up Wales's opening attacks, which tested both sides' fitness, and drew first blood when winger Mark Cueto carved through the Welsh midfield with a beautifully timed and angled run.
Stephen Jones pegged back three points when Harry Ellis was ruled off-side at a 5-metre scrum, and the Wales fly-half featured twice in a move that needed a scrambling Ben Cohen save to prevent Shane Williams from bagging his 26th Test try. Charlie Hodgson kicked a penalty goal and England flanker Lewis Moody extended the home side's lead when he was powered over the try-line by the heavier white pack.
Things looked ominous at 15-3, but Dwayne Peel found a huge gap at the back of a lineout and his pass gave flanker Martyn Williams his eighth Test try as Wales went into the break trailing by five points.
Hodgson and Jones traded penalty goals before Martyn Williams yellow-carded for taking out Moody in midair, and he could only watch as Hodgson kicked a penalty goal and Mike Tindall scored in the corner.
Wales refused to lie down, but the scoreline was starting to get embarrassing when veteran Lawrence Dallaglio came off the bench to power over the line for his side's fourth try of the match. Another England veteran, Matt Dawson, came on the field and added a fifth try with his first touch of the ball, and Tom Voyce sauntered off under the upright as England threatened the 50-point mark.
Fortunately, they ran out of time, but there was enough left for Wales replacement scrum-half Gareth Cooper to injure his shoulder and add to Ruddock's woes.
Tries - M Cueto, L Moody, M Tindall, L Dallaglio, M Dawson, T Voyce
Pens - C Hodgson 3
Cons - C Hodgson 2, A Goode 2
Try - M Williams
Pens - S Jones 2
Con - S Jones
Con: Andy Goode (80 mins)
Try: Tom Voyce (79 mins)
Con: Matt Dawson (71 mins)
Try: Matt Dawson (70 mins)
Con: Charlie Hodgson (69 mins)
Try: L awrence Dallaglio (68 mins)
Try: Mike Tindall (61 mins)
Pen: Charlie Hodgson (53 mins)
Pen: Stephen Jones (51 mins)
Pen: Charlie Hodgson (43 mins)
Con: Stephen Jones (34 mins)
Try: Martyn Williams (33 mins)
Try: Lewis Moody (29 mins)
Pen: Charlie Hodgson (25 mins)
Pen: Stephen Jones (18 mins)
Con: Charlie Hodgson (14 mins)
Try: Mark Cueto (13 mins)
England: Lewsey; Cueto, Noon, Tindall, Cohen; Hodgson, Ellis; Sheridan, Thompson, Stevens, Borthwick, Grewcock; Worsley, Moody, Corry (capt)
Replacements: Mears, White, Shaw, Dallaglio, Dawson, Goode, Voyce
Wales: G Thomas (capt); M Jones, Luscombe, Watkins, S Williams; S Jones, Peel; D Jones, R Thomas, A Jones, Gough, Sidoli, Charvis, M Williams, Owen
Replacements: M Davies, G Jenkins, Delve, Popham, Cooper, N Robinson, Byrne
Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)