Joe Schmidt: A draw would have been a loss for us
Joe Schmidt couldn't hide his disappointment as Ireland came agonisingly close to a first ever win over the All Blacks in a 22-24 defeat at the Aviva Stadium and claimed a draw would not have been a good enough result for his side.
Ireland produced one of the greatest ever performance seen from an Irish side against opponents who were heralded as the greatest rugby team of all time but Ryan Crotty's try denied Ireland a famous win.
A disapponted Joe Schmidt told RTE after the game: "You never feel the taste of it(victory) in your mouth until the final whistle goes and we had to play to the final whistle and they got over in injury time.
"We have to accept that. It's a game of three that we wanted and it's a game that I felt we were up for.
"Thanks to support we had, it was unbelievable. I hope they are not too disappointed, I certainly know that we are."
"We were in possession with 20 seconds to go and were penalsied for off our feet and we had to defend that last phase.
"You've got to be prepared to defend to the end and we didn't quite keep them out.
"It's a step forward but a missed opportunity. You don't get too many opportunities to play against the All Blacks and you don't get too many opportunities to stop them doing something that was pretty special.
"We were hanging on by a thread and the thread was just a little bit too thin to make sure that we did stop them... To be a minute away from history and to have the ball on your hands on their 10-metre line. Yeah, devastating."
Ireland blew their chance of victory, conceding a last-gasp try to replacement Ryan Crotty.
That left the scores tied at 22-22, with Cruden standing before a match-winning conversion chance.
The Chiefs fly-half fluffed the shot, only for referee Nigel Owens to hand him a reprieve with Ireland chasing off their line early.
Second time around, Cruden made no mistake, securing New Zealand's place in history, and spoiling the day for Ireland, who had surged into a three-try first-half lead thanks to scores from Conor Murray, Rory Best and Rob Kearney.
Schmidt refused to criticise referee Nigel Owens for teh retaken penalty.
"A draw was a loss to us to be fair," he added.
"We invested our time and energy in trying to win that game and I felt we went out with the right endeavour.
"We got some reward for our endeavour but we didn't get the reward in the end but we can't do much about that now.
"I felt we took a bog step forward today. The measurement of progress will be if we can reproduce it and that'll be our challenge against Scotland in the Six Nations that start early next year."