Wales crush England Grand Slam dreams

A chastened England will need to rebuild their confidence after seeing their Grand Slam hopes dashed by a rampant Welsh side in Cardiff. The emphatic margin of victory, 30-3, meant that Wales retained the Six Nations title.

It was a bucket of ice-cold reality tipped over those who had suggested England already had the look of serious challengers for the 2015 World Cup. Poor discipline cost them in the first half, but in the second half Wales punished every error ruthlessly.

England coach Stuart Lancaster admitted his side had been outplayed. "The first quarter of the second half wasn't good enough," he said. "Wales thoroughly deserved the win, no complaints. Wales played well and we didn't turn up and match their physicality. It's a simple game and their physicality was better than ours."

Alex Cuthbert scored two tries for a Welsh side that has recovered impressively from disappointment in their opening match against Ireland. "We had a bit of a blip but we didn't want to let go of that trophy," Cuthbert said. "We wanted it back and we are so glad that we have. We fully deserve this. We have worked hard in the last few weeks and it has all worked out – we couldn't ask for anything better."

For England it’s back to the drawing board. Last year’s win over the All Blacks at Twickenham now seems a distant memory, and Lancaster has plenty of work ahead of him moulding his inexperienced squad into a consistent team.

England captain Chris Robshaw said it was important thing to learn lessons from the defeat and ensure that the experience made England stronger. "It would be easy to brush it under the carpet and go our separate ways for the next two months, when we all go back to club rugby," Robshaw said. "But we need to make sure this hurt makes us a better side."

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