HISTORY was created as the Lions drew their Test series against New Zealand for the first time ever.
Eden Park fell eerily silent at the final whistle of this dramatic Test match that went to the wire.
Fans didn’t know whether to celebrate or cry – the players too.
At the end of an utterly brutal and gripping tour the Lions leave New Zealand with plenty of credit in the bank with the first drawn tour since 1955.
Not since 1971 have the Lions won in New Zealand.
And they will now have to wait another 12 years to get another crack at the Kiwis.
But no one in the Southern Hemisphere gave Warren Gatland’s men a chance from the off.
And after the match All Blacks boss Steve Hansen bizarrely compared drawing the Test with the Lions to “kissing your sister”.
At times in the first half there was rugby from another planet by the lethal All Blacks.
Beauden Barrett was channeling his inner Dan Carter, the 2005 Lions-slaying version, and the fly-half was central to both first-half beauties scoffed by Steve Hansen’s world champs.
First Barrett senior’s perfect cross-kick to brother Jordie was palmed down and there was Ngani Laumape, the man dubbed the “Mini bus”, to drive it home from yards out.
Full debutant Laumape then returned the favour to his fellow first starter.
The Hurricanes centre provided one of the most sublime and ridiculous off-loads for his teammate Barrett junior, 20, to glide over as the Lions were caught out.
Owen Farrell’s two first-half penalties kept the Lions in it as the All Blacks wasted several chances.
Even when the Lions lost Sean O’Brien at the break, one of the warriors of this series, they still remained brutal up front.
Skipper Sam Warburton – who missed the decider in 2013 with injury – lead the fight-back with a number of huge hits.
Gatland’s men wasted no time in nursing their wounds and were in a three-point game when England and Wasps hot-shot Elliot Daly became the first player to score for and against the Lions.
Daly, who played for the BaaBaas against the tourist in 2013, nailed a barnstorming kick to claw back some ground and make it 12-9.
As things heated up so did the level of the hits.
And Jerome Kaino got it all wrong when he tried to stop Alun Wyn Jones and smashed him in the face with his forearm.
Referee Romain Poite sent the Kiwi back-row to the bin and the Lions had ten minutes to try and make it count.
And they did – a Farrell penalty drew it level at 12-12 to set-up the ultimate of finishes at this fortress.
The scrum had gone so well all day, but it was a creaky set-piece that was their downfall.
Bang in the middle of the Lions 22 Kyle Sinckler was pinged under pressure and Barrett drilled home the easiest of three-pointers.
Farrell then did the same just two minutes before time with a nerves-of-steel kick. . . only for his Lions to cough up a penalty straight after.
And then only for ref Poite to cancel the shot at goal and award the All Blacks a scrum instead.
An odd end to a terrific tour, but the Red Army will march on.
They out-numbered and out-sung the All Blacks in their own back-yard all series.
The Kiwis thought the Lions were just a smash-em and bash-em team too.
They have proved them wrong, totally. And by doing so this Lions side have closed the gap between the north and the south.
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These Lions have one hand on the trophy, so do the All Blacks, and maybe that was the right result from such an awesome summer.
But it was not without controversy.
Ref Poite cancelled what looked a certain shot at goal for the All Blacks late on, awarding a scrum instead.
Ken Owens looked to have played the ball in a offside position, but Poite changed his mind and called it an accident to the relief of the Lions and the travelling fans.
Following the enthralling Test, Hansen said: “I would like to congratulate the Lions for drawing the series. It’s been a fantastic three match series.
“Each finished with one hand on the trophy, which is a bit like kissing your sister. But it’s been a great series.
“Hopefully the Lions fans have really enjoyed their time and send more people over here to NZ for visits.”