Or as England coach Eddie Jones put it in the build up, “We want to direct the movie, not just be in it.”
For 60 minutes England were in the directors’ chair courtesy of tries from Chris Ashton and Dylan Hartley, and but for a disallowed try at the end may well have pulled it off.
Jones’ men were muscular, fired up, and clinical at times. The thunderous noise at Twickenham told you this was special. And they came so close.
But New Zealand showed the poise and patience that has made them double world champions to escape with a 16-15 victory under the leaden skies of southwest London.
With the World Cup less than a year away it was a significant result for both sides.
For New Zealand, further cementing of its reputation as one of sport’s most dominant winning machines, and proof perhaps that the recent defeat against South Africa was a blip.
For England, shorn of a raft of key players through injury, another step in the right direction following last week’s win against South Africa in the wake of a disappointing year.
“Sometimes the game loves you, sometimes it doesn’t,” said Jones, whose side got away with a controversial late decision which could have cost them the win against the Springboks.
“We really stuck it to them. They were a better team but it was a step forward for us.”