England suffered a crushing 36-3 defeat at Carisbrook as the wheels well and truly came off their World Cup chariot against a New Zealand side superior in every department.
The world champions faced one of their toughest assignments during Sir Clive Woodward's 80-Test coaching reign.
They arrived at Carisbrook, knowing that only the Lions and Australia had successfully stormed New Zealand's Dunedin fortress during the past 99 years.
The All Blacks had won 28 and drawn one of their previous 32 Tests on a ground which was packed to its 40,000 capacity for new coach Graham Henry's first game in charge.
England, 15-13 conquerors of New Zealand in Wellington last June, were chasing their third successive win against the All Blacks, but they arrived on the South Island minus more than a dozen World Cup squad members.
The absentees included Jonny Wilkinson, Jason Robinson and Phil Vickery, yet England still boasted a combined cap tally of 500-plus, giving them a considerable edge on experience over their opponents.
Woodward made seven changes, including Josh Lewsey's positional switch from wing to full-back as replacement for Robinson, following the defeat against RBS 6 Nations rivals France 11 weeks ago.
There were starts for wing James Simpson-Daniel, centre Mike Catt, fly-half Charlie Hodgson, prop Julian White, lock Simon Shaw and flanker Chris Jones, with Hodgson also handed goalkicking duties on his return to Test rugby after a 16-month absence.
There was an immediate warning of what might lie ahead, when Kiwi wing Joe Rokocoko caught Hodgson's kick and ghosted through some half-hearted tackling on a 40-metre run until England hauled him down.
England could not get their hands on the ball, and spent a lengthy spell defending prior to All Blacks centre Daniel Carter slotting a sixth-minute penalty from 25 metres.
England's first spell of pressure - quality lineout ball following a Catt touchfinder - ended with them gaining a first penalty chance that Hodgson duly accepted from 30 metres on 13 minutes.
The All Blacks came back, however, as scrum-half Matt Dawson's kick was charged down, enabling New Zealand to spin possession wide at pace. Fly-half Carlos Spencer fed wing Doug Howlett, then looped around behind him to claim a quality try that Carter converted from the touchline.
New Zealand's backs had far too much pace and invention for their opponents, and crisp passing unlocked England's defence as Rokocoko beat three red rose defenders for his 13th Test try.
Catt twice created attacking opportunities before Lewsey returned but, after England gained a kickable penalty, referee Kaplan reversed it against wing Ben Cohen for dissent.
New Zealand required no second invitation to take a grip again, and after Lewsey spilled a steepling kick, they gained an attacking scrum 10 metres out.
England could not cope as possession was spun quickly wide, and full-back Mils Muliaina sent Howlett clear for a third try, again converted by Carter.
It was damage-limitation for England, and Carter's second successful penalty made it 27-3, and then he added another three-pointer before the break, giving England a mountain of Everest proportions to climb.
Woodward made a double half-time substitution, sending on Wasps flanker Joe Worsley for Jones and replacing Grewcock with his Bath colleague Steve Borthwick.
But England just were not in contention at the breakdown, being out-muscled in that key contact area and, with New Zealand knowing that the game was won, there was a degree of formality about proceedings.
The final few minutes fizzled out, as New Zealand reflected on a job superbly done.
England, though, have got it all to do as they focus on next week's second Test in Auckland after a defeat that was their biggest for six years following the 64-22 against New Zealand on the same ground in 1998.