Rome - England scored seven tries in an emphatic 52-11 victory over Italy on Saturday but their hopes of winning the Six Nations championship still depend on Ireland losing to or drawing with France later in the day.
England, hoping to cancel out Ireland's 49-point advantage, looked to be chasing a big score from the start and led 24-6 at halftime after two Mike Brown tries and one for Owen Farrell, who again was faultless with eight out of eight kicks at goal.
Jack Nowell, Mako Vunipola and replacement Manu Tuilagi, in his first appearance for a year, crossed after the break but an interception score by Leonardo Sarto took the wind out of their sails before captain Chris Robshaw claimed England's seventh at the death.
Having scraped three narrow wins on their last three visits to Rome, it was another hugely impressive performance by Stuart Lancaster's team, who have eight points from four wins following an opening-game defeat in Paris.
But they will now have to hope that France can beat Ireland, or claim a draw, in Paris to claim only their second title since 2003.
After a lively start Italy were never really in the game and end the championship with five defeats for the first time since 2009.
Tries: Mike Brown (2), Owen Farrell, Jack Nowell, Mako Vunipola, Manu Tuilagi, Chris Robshaw
Conversions: Farrell (7)
Try: Leonardo Sarto;
Penalties: Luciano Orquera (2)
15 Luke McLean, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Joshua Furno, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Alberto de Marchi, 19 George Fabio Biagi, 20 Paul Derbyshire, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Tommaso Allan. 23 Andrea Masi.
15 Mike Brown, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Danny Care, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 David Wilson, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 David Attwood, 20 Tom Johnson, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 George Ford, 23 Manu Tuilagi