Chris Ashton scored twice as England launched their RBS 6 Nations campaign with a first victory over Wales in Cardiff since 2003 as they claimed a 26-19 triumph.
The Northampton wing scored once in each half and with Toby Flood adding 13 points from a faultless kicking display, England surged into a 23-9 lead.
Martin Johnson's men had to survive a determined fightback, with Morgan Stoddart's try helping to haul Wales right back into the game, but Jonny Wilkinson's penalty five minutes from time sealed England's victory, leaving Wales without a win in eight Tests and facing a daunting trip to Scotland next.
And there might be worse to come ahead of next weekend's Murrayfield appointment with Scotland, as centre Jonathan Davies could be cited following a trip on Ashton that all the officials missed.
England though now march on towards three successive games at Twickenham ahead of their tournament finale against Ireland in Dublin, a game that could easily see Six Nations silverware, a Grand Slam and Triple Crown at stake.
England's forwards built an imposing platform, with lock Tom Palmer and debutant flanker Tom Wood at the forefront, while Ashton's imperious finishing helped ensure they were never behind.
England are far from the finished article, but they showed character and commitment in abundance, which augurs well at the start of a World Cup year.
Wales though just cannot find the winning habit, and it could prove a long and painful Six Nations campaign after another morale-sapping loss.