Thibault Camus/Associated Press
England and France gave a fine account of their Tier 1 credentials with an incredible, tight-fought contest on Saturday, boasting some of the best starting XV lineups one is likely to see in the sport.
However, what swung things in France's favour was the closest of advantages in their resources, something Lancaster wasn't able to boast with his team, currently afflicted by several injury issues.
Saint-Andre had some very skilled substitutes to bring on in Dimitri Szarzewski and Fickou, each of whom had a massive hand in the game-winning try, while Damien Chouly, Yoann Maestri and Yannick Forestier each have a lot to contribute to the side's cause.
That's not to say this England team aren't still capable of winning the competition. So long as the fitness of the squad swings ever so slightly in their favour, they may have the means to survive thanks to their more regular stars.
For Joe Marler, Mako Vunipola was a ready replacement of a good standard. The same can be said for Tom Youngs, Ben Morgan and Alex Goode, each of whom have their reason to argue why they might be starting.
However, Lancaster can be greatly encouraged at being able to cope with an early blow to Jonny May, for example, but his squad showed that, on the whole, they're still some paces off some of the world's finest.