Beyond the shockingly heavy loss for a New Zealand side that still showed fine ambition though, the capital’s diaspora came out in force to back their boys on tour in a frenzied contest.
These storied Test nations brought genuine, gold-standard razzmatazz to the home of rugby.
Both South Africa and New Zealand delivered more thrills and spills in the first five minutes than England have managed in a turgid month.
The two southern hemisphere greats purred like Ferraris and Lamborghinis, leaving England to chug along in Del Boy’s three-wheeler.
Even in their heaviest-ever Test match defeat, New Zealand still looked threatening and highly skilful.
And Scott Barrett’s red card – for two yellows – clearly took the game away from the stunned All Blacks.
Even so, England should look on both teams’ attacking intent and shape with wonder, and no little jealousy.
England’s travails are well documented under Steve Borthwick. But this show of strength only made the Red Rose men’s World Cup chances seem even more remote.
How Twickenham needed a spectacle like this to light the touch paper for the fast-approaching tournament in France.
The Boks’ Captain Marvel, Siya Kolisi, thundered home for the first score, with Kurt Lee Arendse and Malcolm Marx both also crossing before half-time.
Bongi Mbonambi and Kwagga Smith powered over after the interval, with Manie Libbok slotting all five conversions.
Will Jordan saw a try ruled out by the TMO for New Zealand, while Canan Moodie was denied in similar fashion for the Springboks.
Despite indulging fully in the helter-skelter nature of the “friendly” clash, New Zealand were still left fretting on their ill-discipline.
Lock Barrett became the first All Black to be sent off twice in Test rugby.
His first yellow card was technical, but the second was brainless, and dangerous.
Barrett was given his marching orders for a shoulder-first clean-out at a ruck that connected directly with Boks hooker Marx’s head.
The bunker review system kept that head-high cleanout at a yellow card.
But the dismissal still stood in any case, and New Zealand were always up against it afterwards.
The All Blacks have no time to dwell on the negatives, given they will open the World Cup by facing hosts France in Paris on Friday, September 8.
These two teams could face each other again in the quarter-finals. If they do, no one in the rugby world will want to miss the chance to tune in.