After finishing this season's campaign with two wins England head coach, Andy Robinson, was left ruing missed opportunities as his side got off to their worst Six Nations start in 18 years.
Defeats against Wales, France and Ireland meant the world champions were out of the running by the end of February and had little to play for but pride and fourth-place.
But having watched his side produce their best rugby of the tournament in Saturday's 43-22 victory over Scotland, Robinson was in a positive mood and able to reflect on the narrow losses that blighted his first championship in charge.
" Ultimately we are going to look back at this and go 'If only', because we have lost by one score in those matches and that is the most frustrating part about this," he said.
Defeats in Cardiff by two points, at home to France by one and in Dublin by six, meant the 2005 Six Nations will not be one to be remembered for Robinson - apart from the lessons it has taught his players.
"The chief thing we have to learn is that games are won by small margins. We have got to make sure that when we play and it comes to the wire, we have the ability and plan to win those games.
"Against Wales, France and Ireland we were just unable to go that extra bit to win those games," he added.
The head coach's remarks unintentionally throw the spotlight on to fly-half Charlie Hodgson who has had enough kicking chances to have won a Grand Slam for England.
In the first game against the Welsh he missed one drop-goal and a penalty, while another 12 points went begging in the loss to France.
He was better against Ireland but failed with another four chances against Italy and again on Saturday he was profligate wasting half of his eight kicks at goal. Better teams would and have punished England.
But there were also positives with the side looking a lot more settled than at the start following the emergence of a handful of new players.
"We have moved forward as a team," he said. "We were talking about who would be the next leaders, looking at our midfield and getting balance and variety in our attack, I think that has come through.
"Having lost Vickery and White we were looking at who was the next young prop, in Matthew Stevens we have found a dynamic young prop who can only get better."
He also highlighted the responsibility assumed by new captain Martin Corry and second-row Ben Kay while defensive coach Phil Larder hailed Lewis Moody as Neil Back's worthy successor.
But Robinson's biggest plus was the emergence of Jamie Noon. "He needed time to grow," he said.