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Lions salvage draw after titanic decider

New Zealand has now gone 40 matches without losing at Eden Park after denying the British and Irish Lions a long-awaited series win in New Zealand.

Owen Farrell held his nerve to salvage a 15-15 draw for the British and Irish Lions against New Zealand in a dramatic end to the series at fortress Eden Park, which saw the hosts controversially denied a late chance to snatch victory.

Ngani Laumape and Jordie Barrett marked their maiden New Zealand starts with first-half tries, but the Lions refused to be beaten and Farrell's fourth penalty two minutes from time ultimately thwarted the world champion.

New Zealand was awarded a penalty from the restart, but referee Romain Poite changed his mind after a television match official review, instead deeming Ken Owens to be accidentally offside. That meant the All Blacks were awarded a scrum rather than a chance to kick at goal and a gripping series ended 1-1.

The result left both sets of players unsure of how to react at the final whistle, with British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton at a loss to explain his feelings in the immediate aftermath.

"It's a difficult one, it's got to be a first surely," he said. "It's difficult, as players you go through the pressure and emotion of the week and you're geared towards winning. It's better than losing I guess.

"To be honest I'm a bit speechless, I don't know what to make of that. I was ready to go to extra-time, although my legs aren't.

"They're double world champions so to come here and not get beat I guess we can take credit for that. We can take the positives from getting a draw but you're gutted because you're seeking that win.

"Our discipline was better this week, we knew we had to work on that. I was chatting to Kieran [Read, towards the end] and he said 'wow, this is rugby', there's a lot of respect in both teams.

"There's no individual accolade, it's a massive team effort and it wouldn't have mattered if I was captain or any of the 40. Credit to our team, it's been a fantastic team and it's been a pleasure to work with them."

All Blacks skipper Kieran Read, who won his 100th New Zealand cap on the night, said he was left feeling "hollow".

"You walk away with a draw it doesn't really mean much," he added.

"I suppose I'll look back in the future with a bit more pride. The series was pretty well fought out, the teams couldn't be split and that's the way it goes."

Asked about the controversial end to the Test, he added: "In my view it's a penalty, he ruled it correctly from the start but when you bring in replays you'll get a different decision. 

"That's not why we lost the game, it's an accumulation and it's one of those that goes against you, you've got to deal with it.

"We had a lot of endeavour and hard work from the boys, we were perhaps trying too hard and wanted to put in a good performance. I'm proud of the lads we stuck at it, it's hard to know how to feel right now."