There was nothing to separate the two teams in the end after a dramatic finale sees the Third Test, and the series, finish level, with Alun Wyn Jones and Rhys Webb both heavily involved.
Owen Farrell held his nerve once again as The British & Irish Lions earned a dramatic 15-15 draw at Eden Park to seal a share of a truly unforgettable Test series against the All Blacks.
Heading into the final quarter of this enthralling encounter at Eden Park the scores were tied at 12-12 – a fitting end for a topsy-turvy clash and indeed series.
The first half had been a tale of All Black wastefulness, Ngani Laumape and Jordie Barrett both crossing for tries on their first Test starts but really it could have been much more as the hosts dominated proceedings.
But the Lions stood up terrifically in defence and two penalties from Owen Farrell meant they only trailed 12-6 at the break.
Elliot Daly then smashed over an effort from his own half to trim the lead further soon after the break and when Jerome Kaino saw yellow for a high tackle, the Lions were level as Farrell continued to have ice in his veins.
The stage was set for a thrilling final quarter and it was Beauden Barrett who looked like he had won it when the All Blacks won a penalty at a scrum.
But Farrell then stood firm after the Lions earned a penalty at the breakdown and his long-range effort fell over the bar to set up a nerve-shredding last three minutes that the Lions somehow survived to earn a draw that will live long in the memory.
After last weekend’s reversal in Wellington, the All Blacks wanted to make a statement early at Eden Park but in a first half of stunning physicality, the home side were not their usual clinical selves.
In the early stages Beauden Barrett missed a penalty from bang in front while Julian Savea then knocked on with the line begging after the Barrett brothers had combined to break through.
Having ridden the early storm it was the Lions – with Maro Itoje prominent and Daly rising well under the high ball – that looked to be on the verge of the first try before Farrell compounded a nervy first quarter with a long pass that was picked off with the try line begging.
The impressive Jonathan Davies then made a superb covering tackle to chase down Laumape but the All Blacks were not as wasteful this time and the first try duly arrived – and it was made in Wellington as three Canes combined – Beauden’s cross-kick to brother Jordie who batted the ball down for Laumape to go over.
This time Beauden Barrett was spot on with the conversion but Farrell’s first penalty got the Lions on the board not long after when Davies’ clever kick had earned some territory.
Back came the All Blacks though in a first half that continued to astonish with its frenetic pace and when Savea burst through a second try looked iron-clad but Sam Cane knocked on from the next phase.
The Lions blushes were being spared time after time as the All Blacks pack were churning out yards that their backs were wasting – Beauden Barrett and Laumape the next two to knock on deep in the Lions 22.
Jonathan Sexton – aside from one missed touch – was catching the eye for the Lions in attack, carrying hard to the line while Alun Wyn Jones was immense in defence and after Davies made a great read to crunch the younger Barrett the Lions could finally relieve some pressure and Farrell’s second penalty trimmed the lead to 7-6.
Sexton and Sean O’Brien were slight injury worries with half time approaching, the former with an ankle problem and the latter a shoulder and the All Blacks deservedly pounced soon after, Laumape’s wondrous break and offload releasing Anton Lienert-Brown and he put the younger Barrett over in the corner.
This time his older brother could not add the extras and the Lions could count their blessings to only be six points down at the interval.
And that deficit got even smaller straight after the break – with CJ Stander on for O’Brien but Sexton continuing – when Daly smashed one over from his own half to make it 12-9.
Still the All Blacks failed to make their chances count in the second period, Savea called back for a forward pass from Jordie Barrett and the Lions were visibly growing in confidence while the hosts looked nervous.
Kaino then went high on Jones to earn himself a yellow, Courtney Lawes introduced for the latter as a result, and the Lions had half an hour to go and a man advantage for ten of them.
Sexton was back after a check up for Ben Te’o but the All Blacks, as they did last weekend, were making light of their numerical disadvantage, Liam Williams’ break pulled back for a forward pass.
But just before the hour mark and the return of Kaino, Brodie Retallick was punished for a high shot and Farrell made no mistake from distance to level the scores.
The final quarter of this third Test was thrillingly poised, an apt way to round off an incredible Tour of this country.
Beauden Barrett’s clever kick to the corner then put the All Blacks on the front foot but another knock-on halted their momentum after a huge tackle from Taulupe Faletau.
Warburton then had to go off bringing Jones back into the fray but when Kyle Sinckler was pinged at scrum time in front Beauden Barrett could not miss and the All Blacks were in front again with less than 13 minutes left.
Warburton was back on for the final ten minutes and the Lions finally got some reward when Rhys Webb won a breakdown penalty and Farrell did the rest.
Carnage ensured from the re-start as the All Blacks looked like they had won a kickable penalty but the TMO and Romain Poite opted for a scrum and while the All Blacks were knocking at the door, in the end the Lions held on.
That meant a drawn series, the first since the 1955 Lions in South Africa, and an epic ending to the Tour in Auckland.