Pat Sanderson, battered, bruised and weary to his bones, thought briefly of the moment when he made a break that might have turned England's match against the All Blacks in their favour.
The Worcester and England open-side flanker struck out on a galloping run down the left flank - the blindside - that sent Twickenham and 50,000 expectant England fans into raptures.
A mad dash for glory . . . What about that little burst down the wing?
"A little burst? It was too long," said Sanderson of the sprint that covered 30 or more yards only coming to an abrupt halt when he was tackled but not before feeding winger Ben Cohen.
Oh what might have been . . .
Instead, England were left to nurse the physical and mental hurt that was the result of a titanic clash with the world's greatest side.
The All Blacks will care only that the record shows they inflicted upon England a 23-19 defeat and kept alive their hopes of a grand slam on this tour.
In fact England's jarring resistance and then bludgeoning attack shook the New Zealanders to their core.
England could have - should have - won had they shown just a little more invention in a second half when they dominated the All Blacks, who were down to 13 men at one stage, having lost two players to the sin bin.
Sanderson, sporting the scars of an often visceral contest, knows the All Blacks will appreciate the war of attrition they had just won.
"It was tough," he said, "a lot of hard graft for 80 minutes and we are disappointed.
"I thought we were pretty threatening today. At this level they are just about as creative as you can get and [the difference] was just one or two magic moments. We pretty much shut them down."
He said it was too early to identify the areas where England lost the game. They showed that brute strength in the shape of the ox-like prop Andy Sheridan is not enough. Not in the face of gazelle-like All Black athletes.
"It is hard to look at it now. We will have to look at the videos on Monday or Tuesday . . . ask me again on Wednesday," said Sanderson.
"Of course we can build on it. There will be a lot of positives to take from the game. We knew the contact area was going to be tough.
"The quality of defending was excellent and I think the fact that they had three men in the sin bin shows the pressure we put them under.
"We have come together really well and are proud men."