New Zealand hooker Codie Taylor offered no excuses in the seven-point defeat to Ireland; the better team simply won.
On a night where the All Blacks scrum creaked under intense pressure, Joe Schmidt's side claimed the only try of the game to reaffirm their standing in the game against the standard bearers.
"They had a few moments they nailed," the 39-cap international told RTÉ Sport. "Ireland absorbed pressure and created better than we did.
"The score showed that, they were the only team to score a try. That was off a class play they created through constant pressure."
While few will quibble with the result, as Steve Hansen's side moved into Irish territory with the clock winding down, Irish fans - and coach Joe Schmidt - were understandably thinking back to 2013.
This time around the gap was seven points, so worst case scenario was a draw, but the nerve-jangling finish merely added to the sense of occasion.
For the men in black, they fully backed themselves to claw something out of the enthralling Test encounter.
"As All Blacks, you always back yourself to get out of the hole. Usually we try to grind them [opposition] down. We were doing that, but we just let it slip.
"Ireland just created so much pressure and we probably created some errors off the back of that pressure."
Hansen was in typically mischievous form in his post-match duties, suggesting Ireland are now favourites for next year's World Cup.
Looking introspectively, Taylor says the defeat will sharpen their focus before defending their title in Japan.
"As hard as it is to take the loss, it just shows what it's going to take next year to win the World Cup. It's our job now to go back, look at the tape and get it right come World Cup year.
"Obviously they are doing something right in the northern hemisphere and they are playing some good rugby."