The bruised egos are bad enough but Scotland also face a significant injury crisis emanating from the record 61-21 defeat at Twickenham on Saturday.
The Scots still have the chance to win three games in the Six Nations for the first time since 2006 and only the second time ever if the beat Italy next week, and could still finish second behind the English, who retained the championship trophy by virtue of their seven-try rout.
But concussions forced three more players off during the game – including main strike weapon Stuart Hogg – taking the number to eight in Scotland’s two away games in the championship.
With just a week to Italy, Mark Bennett is definitely out after lasting just four minutes as a replacement for Hogg and suffering knee and arm injuries. “Care and further assessment” will be given to the Glasgow centre but he is not expected to be available for next week.
Hogg, Ryan Wilson and Tommy Seymour have all started concussion protocols after leaving the field during Saturday’s game, but there are also three injuries to players who finished the game that will require scans.
Finn Russell and Huw Jones have knee injuries while Richie Gray has a hamstring problem. head coach Vern Cotter said on Saturday night that Fraser Brown was also struggling with a knock but the hooker was not listed in the official team medical bulletin released yesterday.
Cotter, in his penultimate game as head coach, said that the harsh lessons learned from this game would aid the squad in the future.
“We always said that this game, whatever happened, would be helpful to us,” he said. “At the moment it’s difficult, it hurts. You get well beaten, feel you haven’t played well enough, and you contributed to a lot of it. That’s annoying.
“We’ll take this one on the chin. We’ll look at it honestly, review it and decide. Was it the week, the game, decision making, execution, preparation, communication?
“Everyone is disappointed. We understand that people believed we would come closer than that.
“When you compete and get beaten you don’t like it. There are ways to lose and we are not happy with what happened here.
“Next week it’s not just me finishing. It is the last game for this group of coaches and perhaps some players.
“There will be passion and hard work though the week and we will be determined to put in a good performance.”
Cotter said that performing away from Murrayfield was a factor that would have to be examined.
“We seem to play with a lot more confidence at home. That’s a great thing, a good place to start, and once we develop that we can maybe start taking it to these away venues.
“But that’s two away games and eight concussions, which takes its toll on us.
“It is a contact sport. That’s why the players play it – they enjoy the contact element.
“ At the moment we have injuries coming from it. We will try to deal with what’s in place at the moment and get on as best as possible.”