Jonny Wilkinson's return to international rugby failed to stop England crashing to an 18-9 defeat against Australia at Twickenham in their opening match of the autumn Tests.
Wilkinson, back after a 20-month injury absence, had guided England to victory on each of his last five appearances against the Wallabies - including the 2003 World Cup final and 2007 quarter-final.
Australia turned the tables after trailing 9-5 at the interval and retained the Cook Cup after Adam Ashley-Cooper added to Will Genia's first-half try - and Matt Giteau booted eight points.
Wilkinson was included in a side featuring two fellow World Cup-winners in Lewis Moody and hooker Steve Thompson, back after two years out.
England's strength in depth was stretched to the limit after Martin Johnson lost a third of his squad to injuries, and 10 of his starting side began the day with 13 caps or fewer.
Australia too had their injury problems and fielded a brand new centre combination.
Wilkinson was immediately back into the groove, slotting England into a third-minute lead with a drop-goal after a well-executed line-out move.
Two powerful runs from Dan Hipkiss kept England on the front foot, before Wallaby winger Peter Hynes was penalised for a dangerous tackle on Ugo Monye - and Wilkinson adopted his familiar pose to drill the penalty. It was like he had never been away.
Wilkinson hit the post with his next effort from halfway - but such is Twickenham's love affair with their World Cup winner that the decision to kick for goal was greeted by cheers and not the usual moans of derision.
Australia struggled to cope with England's ferocity in contact, and it was only a misjudgement from Matt Banahan that afforded the Wallabies their only attacking platform of the first half.
The giant England winger thought a diagonal kick from Giteau had bounced into touch, but the line-out went to Australia.
In typically ruthless fashion, the Wallabies capitalised. The ball was spread wide, and Australian scrum-half Genia stole around the fringes of a ruck to score his first Test try from close range.
England were roared on to an immediate response - and again Wilkinson was at the heart of the action, sending a steepling cross-kick towards Banahan before Hipkiss crashed through the middle to earn another penalty under the posts.
Wilkinson duly secured England their half-time lead.
But after the break, England's defence was tested immediately as Australia built up a head of steam and worked two golden try-scoring opportunities.
Stephen Moore, Wycliffe Palu and Giteau were all halted as they drove for the line - before Banahan hauled down Rocky Elsom when the Australian captain had a man on the overlap outside him.
The Wallabies had to settle for a Giteau penalty, but England soon invited further pressure on themselves after Geraghty's sliced chip was picked off in midfield - and the Wallabies counter-attacked.
England were saved when Hynes' grubber kick went just too far for Ashley-Cooper, and then Moody saved the day with a tackle on Palu which knocked the ball free as the Wallabies number eight drove for the line.
But Duncan Bell, brought on for the injured David Wilson, was penalised at his first scrum - and Giteau nudged Australia into the lead for the first time with 20 minutes remaining.
The introduction of James Haskell, Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Paul Hodgson off the bench brought a fresh spark to England's attack.
But they did not score a point in the second half, and Australia wrapped up the first leg of a potential grand slam when Ashley-Cooper drove over in the corner 10 minutes from time. Giteau's conversion pushed the Wallabies two scores clear.