Ben Youngs admitted England missed an opportunity to claim a rare victory over New Zealand at the weekend.
The All Blacks raced into a 14-0 lead inside the first 20 minutes and there was no way back for the hosts despite a spirited second-half fightback, eventually losing 26-16.
But far from being encouraged by their performance in the last hour of the game, the England camp were left to rue a chance that they felt slipped through their fingers.
"The summer tour to Australia made us realise what a good bunch of players we are. We want to challenge ourselves against the best and now we know we are capable of mixing it with them," said the scrum-half.
"Every person in this squad believed we could win that game and I hope that showed. It was an opportunity missed.
"It was very hard to take. Everyone's head was down in the dressing room afterwards and you could hear a pin drop.
"We could have won that game because we put them under some real pressure. I can think of a couple of good opportunities that we missed off the top of my head, which was frustrating.
"But it is encouraging that we created chances and we need to keep believing ourselves because that was a missed chance."