England coach Andy Robinson said his side's failure to do the basics cost them the chance of beating Wales in their opening match of the Six Nations.
"We turned too many balls over and gave away too many penalties so we deserved to lose the game," he told BBC Sport.
"We stuttered early on and made crucial errors with the ball.
"At times we kicked a lot of ball away aimlessly. We've got to be able to dominate territory as Wales did in the first half."
The narrow defeat was England's first in Cardiff since 1993, and Robinson admitted his side squandered the opportunity to keep their winning run against the Welsh going.
"We're disappointed and frustrated in terms of not being able to close the game down and we'll have to look at that," he said.
"Wales played all the rugby in our half and therefore we weren't able to get any momentum.
"I thought they played well. They were pretty sharp and credit to them for winning the game."
Robinson praised the contribution of 18-year-old debutant Matthew Tait, although the youngster found himself on the receiving end of several massive hits from Wales' match-winner Gavin Henson.
"I thought Matthew did well," he said.
"It was his first game and he'll pick up a lot from how he's played.
"We've got to play with a bit more freedom and we've got to get people running onto the ball and be a bit more alert."
England fly-half Charlie Hodgson said the inexperienced team had got caught up in the occasion.
"We showed a few nerves what with it being our first game and there being a few new combinations out there," Hodgson told BBC Sport.
"I don't think you can make too many excuses though.
"Full credit to Wales - they put us under a lot of pressure and I think they were the better side."