Encouraging signs for England
Fine, so it was all a bit before the Lord Mayor's Show at Twickenham on Saturday, but Lions head coach Ian McGeechan will still have been watching intently, rubbing out names from his team-sheet, going over others with indelible ink.
Whether the thumping victory over France last Sunday allied with the Calcutta Cup win over Scotland will be enough to greatly increase England's quota of players to tour South Africa this summer remains to be seen.
But talk of the Welsh & Irish Lions - especially since, if Wales head coach Warren Gatland is to be believed, they don't get along too well - has surely been consigned to history.
After all, didn't England finish second in this year's Six Nations Championship? Were they not the joint-highest point scorers? Did they not score more tries (16) than any other side? Did they not boast the meanest defence? I know, it's difficult to forget given the scorn that's been poured on Martin Johnson's men of late.
In addition, England made the most passes; made as many line breaks as Ireland, and three more than Wales; committed the fewest errors; won the most turnovers; and lost just one lineout on their own throw in five encounters. I promise you, I'm not making this up...
Not that this is a vintage England team. Far from it, and any side that gives away 65 penalties (16 more than second-naughtiest side Italy) deserves the criticism that's been thrown its way. But, as Johnson was keen to point out, had they shown a little more composure in Cardiff and Dublin, it could have been them celebrating a Grand Slam on Saturday, rather than Ireland.
Without wishing to belittle the achievement of Declan Kidney's side, it says much about the standard of this year's tournament that England, pilloried by their own media after their first four games, were not a million miles from winning it. For McGeechan, it's a sobering thought.
While their defeat of Scotland was only good in parts, there were still enough good parts to suggest that last week's beasting of the French was not a fluke and that Johnson is beginning to mould a cohesive unit.
"We narrowly lost two away games to two sides who played for the Championship," said Johnson.
"We created opportunities the whole tournament, but in those tight away games we didn't quite have enough composure and gave away too many penalties.
"That's what needs to improve. But we've definitely got better as the tournament's gone on. The group's coming together as a whole.
"We've been through some big experiences - away at Cardiff, away at Dublin, a big game against the French at home. It bodes well for the future."
The first half against Scotland showed that if England get the basics right and provide sturdy foundations, then their bright sparks behind the pack will take flame.
With veterans Simon Shaw and Joe Worsley adding some much-needed 'mongrel' up front, England's backs, armed to the teeth with quick ball, had the time and space to run at the opposition, spot the mismatches and make things happen. Certainly, attack coach Brian Smith's influence was in evidence.
Toby Flood had an authoritative game at fly-half, always holding the ball in two hands and looking to offload, meaning Riki Flutey, who was deservedly named man of the match, was able to run wild outside him.
Flood's name may still only be rendered in pencil on McGeechan's team-sheet, but the razor-sharp Flutey has made himself a very real contender for a place in the Lions Test XV. Gavin Henson, watch your (no doubt waxed) back.
Delon Armitage, too, is now a genuine contender for the number 15 jersey with Wales' Lee Byrne and Ireland's Rob Kearney, while coltish flanker Tom Croft could blossom into an international player of note on the hard pitches of South Africa, suited as they are to his athletic brand of rugby.
In contrast, Scotland scrum-half Mike Blair, who looked a shoo-in for a Lions spot a couple of months ago, might have played himself out of McGeechan's plans altogether courtesy of another flat display. For the Scottish side in general, it's been another Six Nations to forget.
Coach Frank Hadden insisted Scotland "have a squad capable of extraordinary progress" after watching his side go down to yet another defeat. After a third successive campaign with only one win, such pronouncements are starting to sound more than a little hollow.
Unlike Hadden, Johnson will be back next year. And he won't be satisfied with second place.