Rowntree admits the pain of England's 30-3 defeat in Cardiff last year - when Wales forwards overpowered their counterparts - still lingers.
Defeat cost England a first Grand Slam for a decade and the margin of defeat cost them the RBS 6 Nations title, successfully defended by Wales.
Since then England's pack has taken significant strides with eye-catching performances against Australia, New Zealand and Ireland but Rowntree concedes Sunday's rematch with Wales will be the acid test.
"That game hurt. It's well documented how much that hurt me and the forwards," Rowntree said.
"We have come a long way from that because we have learned from it. I said at the time it was important that we capture the lessons from that game.
"It's driven us on. The intensity their forward pack brought to that game is something we are striving to match.
"I think we have shown we can do it, but we have got to do it consistently."