England boss Andy Robinson could not mask his frustration after the world champions slumped to their third successive RBS 6 Nations defeat.
England crashed 19-13 against unbeaten title contenders Ireland at Lansdowne Road, but Robinson's team produced easily their best performance of the championships so far.
Wing Mark Cueto and Josh Lewsey both had tries disallowed, Cueto's for offside after fly-half Charlie Hodgson rifled a kick towards him in the corner, and Lewsey's after he was adjudged not to have crossed the line after squirming under a pile of bodies.
''We are very disappointed, and this will hurt, there is no doubt about that,'' said Robinson.
In the end, though, England were left to reflect on what might have been as Ireland held on for victory, clinched by captain Brian O'Driscoll's try midway through the second period.
England conceded 10 penalties, higher than their average figure, but Robinson said he could not fault the attitude and effort displayed by his team.
''The attitude of the players was magnificent,'' he said.
''I thought we dominated the game; Matt Stevens had an awesome game at tighthead prop, while the likes of Charlie Hodgson, Martin Corry and Lewis Moody all came through well.
''Josh Lewsey was awesome, and every one of the forwards stood up out there. Given the pressure we were under, credit must go to all the players.
''We have done everything but win a game of rugby. But Ireland are a good side; they defended magnificently and they've got every chance of winning this Six Nations.''
Asked to look ahead to the potential Wooden Spoon game against Italy on Saturday week, Robinson added: ''I know this group of players, and I know we will get stronger because of what happened today.
"This was our best performance in the championship this season to date, and we just need that little bit of luck.
Corry scored England's try after just seven minutes, while Hodgson kicked two penalties and a conversion.
Ireland did just enough to stay unbeaten and on course for the Grand Slam thanks to an O'Driscoll touchdown and 14 points from fly-half Ronan O'Gara, who celebrated his 50th cap in style.
Ireland now entertain France on March 12, and then all roads should lead to Cardiff a week later with a potential Grand Slam showdown against in-form Wales.
''This was our best performance in the championship this season to date, and we just need that little bit of luck.''
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.