If England's defeat by Wales demonstrated the problems facing the 2007 finalists before this year's World Cup, honesty is not one of them.
Toby Flood, who said in the build-up to the game that the country would rather see Jonny Wilkinson at fly-half than him, said the team's failure to score a try in Cardiff despite a monopoly of possession was "shameful".
England went into the interval at 6-6, despite having enjoyed 70% of the ball and an even greater share of territory. They turned down four kickable penalties in the first 16 minutes, to opt for set pieces, something they were to do three times more without success.
"We could have gone out there and kicked the goals to stretch a lead but we wanted to see if things were working," said Flood, who was replaced by Charlie Hodgson 13 minutes from the end. "I do not want to use the word 'embarrassing', but it is a bit embarrassing.
"The fact we could not score a try hurts. It is shameful. We can use harsh words because if you want to win a World Cup, tries are massive. I am not too fazed about the result. It is insignificant compared to the fact that we were not able to score a try. That is the hardest thing for me.
"It has left us in a position where there is a lot of work to do over the next two weeks. We turned the ball over too much in the red zone. We have got to be more clinical there because we will not get many opportunities in the World Cup. We are disappointed and frustrated. We have a lot of food for thought and things to work on."
The England captain, Mike Tindall, said he had opted not to kick penalties because of a desire to test the team's attacking ability in an environment as hostile as any they will face during the World Cup – unless they meet New Zealand in the final.
"We wanted to get our movement going but it was hard given that Wales did a fantastic job at the breakdown," Tindall said. "We could not get any flow going. We had so much possession but we did not come away with anything. We did not turn up and we have to address that. We came to Cardiff to work on things, which is why we did not take the points, but perhaps we should have taken a few of the kicks."
The Wales coach, Warren Gatland, savouring an end to a run of three defeats against England, praised his side's defence but added, pointedly: "England did not throw anything at us that we did not expect."
England have this week off, before Martin Johnson confirms his final 30-man World Cup squad on 22 August, five days before a last warm-up international, against Ireland in Dublin.
England's first World Cup match is against Argentina in Dunedin on 10 September.
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