England finally got their RBS 6 Nations campaign up and running as they brushed aside a dogged Italy at Twickenham.
Sale winger Mark Cueto scored a hat-trick of tries as England played with increasing width and confidence in front of an appreciative Twickenham crowd.
Charlie Hodgson again endured a difficult afternoon with the boot, but unlike on previous occasions, his four missed kicks did not prove costly for Andy Robinson's men.
England started impressively, moving the ball well through the hands and bringing the lively Iain Balshaw into the game wherever possible.
They took the lead in the sixth minute through a Hodgson penalty, before Cueto scored the opening try after a scintillating break from Balshaw.
Further tries from hooker Steve Thompson and another from Cueto just before the interval - after some fine work from centre Jamie Noon - saw England into a commanding 22-0 half-time lead.
Italy came out for the second half looking far more assured, and they were rewarded for a sustained period of possession with a try for veteran scrum-half Alessandro Troncon after he brushed aside Graham Rowntree at the side of a ruck. Full-back Gert Peens converted.
England responded immediately, and Balshaw was again involved when he kicked ahead and gathered before feeding the ball to the supporting Josh Lewsey.
However, Balshaw's pass was ruled to be forward and the try went begging.
England continued to press, and went close when Danny Grewcock was held up over the line.
The resulting scrum saw England whip the ball wide with two quick passes to Balshaw who stretched over for a well deserved try to put England 27-7 in front.
Cueto's third try on 64 minutes and one from replacement flanker Andy Hazell sealed a satisfying day's work for new captain Martin Corry's men, despite a late rally from Italy.
The RBS 6 Nations Championship 2015 was not poised to go down as one of the more "vintage" Championships, though there was great anticipation as the action headed into its final day. What transpired was something that nobody could foresee: "The Greatest Day in Rugby's Greatest Championship."