Chris Robshaw has rallied his England team for one final assault on New Zealand by demanding they salvage some pride from their series defeat.
The All Blacks added to their first Test victory with a gripping 28-27 win at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday - made possible by a devastating third-quarter spell that produced tries for Ben Smith, Julian Savea and Ma'a Nonu.
Once a midweek fixture against the Crusaders has been negotiated, England will head to Hamilton for the climax to the series in search of that elusive triumph on Kiwi soil.
Although temporarily deflated by their inability to set up a decider, Robshaw insists England will give everything in their quest for a precious All Blacks scalp.
"We've come down to win a series and we haven't done that. We've still got one more chance and come close on the last two occasions," the captain said.
"We'll throw everything at this last game. It's a big finale and hopefully we can pull one back.
"I don't think it'll be hard at all to lift the team for this match because we still want to win a game down here.
"We all believe that's still very much obtainable as long as we continue to be professional.
"There were some upset players in our changing room after the second Test
"We'll have our sulk, but by Monday morning we'll be straight back into it.
"All our detail will have been prepared and we'll have reviewed everything and be ready to go again."
The score may say only one point separated the rivals, but in truth England were well beaten with late tries from Mike Brown and Chris Ashton offering scoreboard respectability.
For a second successive weekend, they were left mourning a missed opportunity.
A fearless first half bristling with intent hinted that something special was brewing, and it appeared all too easy as a 10-0 lead was posted inside the opening eight minutes.
Try-scorer Marland Yarde and Billy Twelvetrees were influential as England pummelled New Zealand's defence, but they lacked the points their superiority deserved as chances went begging amid a succession of unforced errors and poor decision-making.
When the third quarter arrived they were being given a lesson in finishing by the ruthless All Blacks.
"Once again it's gutting. We came out with all guns blazing trying to execute our game plan and couldn't have started better," Robshaw said.
"It was a great first half from all the guys, but unfortunately in the second half we lost a bit of momentum, lost the ball and struggled to get it back.
"We always knew that they could strike as quickly as that because we've experienced it at Twickenham.
"If we start slowly against them, switch off or miss tackles, they're probably the most dangerous side in the world. They're very effective at taking their chances.
"The difference between the sides is they take their chances - it's as simple as that. There's no secret recipe they have."
New Zealand 28 England 27: Second test player ratings
New Zealand 28 England 27: Second test player ratings
1/32 Ben Smith - 9
At times he bordered on the sublime, and he prospered at full-back in the absence of Israel Dagg. His try swung the momentum in the All Blacks’ favour and started their 20 minute period of utter domination.
2/32 Corey Jane - 6
The quiet man of New Zealand’s lethal back-three but he performed everything to a high level in a mistake-free performance. Defensively sound against the dangerous Yarde.
3/32 Conrad Smith - 9
His tactical genius tormented Twelvetrees and Burrell, with his dummy on the former their final try a particular highlight. A linchpin in the Kiwi back line, and England need to find a way to deal with him.
4/32 Ma'a Nonu - 8
The improvement in a just seven days was huge, as Nonu had a devastating effect on England’s defence. He ran hard yet showed impressive agility to dance through miniscule gaps, and his passing opened the channels for those outside him.
5/32 Julian Savea - 8
The wing just doesn’t know how not to score. Each time he got his hands on the ball he threatened to break free, and score his fifth try against England in just three meetings to take his overall tally to 20 in 21 Tests.
6/32 Aaron Cruden - 7
His break for Smith’s try was beautifully crafted as he identified the gap between the lagging forwards. Kicking could have been better, but he controlled the flow of a rampant back line very well.
7/32 Aaron Smith - 7
Showed just how big a threat the small man can be, as he plugged away at the gaps around the England maul and scrum to good effect. Spurned a chance in the first half though.
8/32 Tony Woodcock - 6
Coped much better in the scrum after recovering from a difficult start. Somewhat quiet in the loose though and could look to up his work rate.
9/32 Dan Coles - 7
A much better game saw him replaced by Mealamu when the game was won. 100 per cent at the lineout gave the All Blacks a strong platform to attack from. A good day’s work.
10/32 Owen Franks - 6
Struggled early with pressure from Marler in the scrum. Still non-existent in the loose, and needs to offer more going forward to help out the rest of the pack.
11/32 Brodie Retallick - 7
A very good showing from the lock as he secured lineout ball repeatedly and disrupted England’s set piece to strong effect. Tackled and ran well, and helped to nullify England’s forward advantage of the first Test.
12/32 Sam Whitelock - 7
Ran repeatedly although saw little success in terms of ground gained. Stole English ball on one occasion, and worked well with Retallick to improve significantly on last week’s poor showing.
13/32 Liam Messam - 7
Not as destructive on defence as we have grown accustomed to but popped up a number of times out wide, and could have had a try is Conrad Smith hadn’t passed straight into touch.
14/32 Richie McCaw - 6
When can you ever say McCaw missed a tackle to allow a try. Unusual lapse allowed Yarde to score early, but recovered quickly after. Nearly had a try of his own only to be held up by replacement Matt Mullan.
15/32 Jerome Kaino - 8
Marauding back-row made some impressive gains, especially during New Zealand’s purple patch. Constantly a threat with hand in ball, as he combined pace and power to beat defenders.
16/32 Beuden Barrett - 7
Introduced in the second half and probed the England defence to great effect. Kick very well too and is pressuring Cruden to start.
17/32 Mike Brown - 6
Settled much quicker this week, and never gave up as he set-up the final try for England after scoring a debateable one of his own. Hasn’t been at his best in New Zealand though.
18/32 Manu Tuilagi - 7
Wasted on the wing, as he looked to use brawn over pace when he got the ball. Took risks with a number of offloads which luckily paid off, but spurned a chance in the first half for a breakaway try.
19/32 Luther Burrell - 6
Ran hard at the New Zealand line but more often than not found a stiff defence in front of him. Should partner Tuilagi next week as he continues to develop.
20/32 Billy Twelvetrees - 4
A poor game by all accounts for the returning centre. Lack of match practice didn’t help, especially against the All Blacks, and a number of mistakes put his side under pressure.
21/32 Marland Yarde - 6
Took his chance early very well as he broke the tackle of McCaw, and threated throughout the opening 40. Faded as England were starved of the ball, and was caught out for Nonu’s try.
22/32 Owen Farrell - 6
His control of England’s game was evidently shown when he was absent for 10 minutes for killing the ball. Could have shown more in attack, but reliable with his kicking as he landed four from five. Kicking from hand must be better.
23/32 Danny Care - 5
Set-up Yarde’s try but showed a rare sloppiness in his game. Dropped the ball twice after England’s pack has worked hard to gain momentum.
24/32 Joe Marler - 6
Had a tremendous start against Franks in the scrum, and his carrying was good. Could have done more to get on the front-foot and was horribly mismatched by Savea for Smith’s try.
25/32 Rob Webber - 6
Lost his 100 per cent record at the lineout as they lost three on their own throw. Replaced by Hartley early in the second half.
26/32 David Wilson - 7
A better game in the loose and even showed his footwork with one impressive run late and a kick early on. Knows he can do more in the scrum as England gained momentum towards the end.
27/32 Joe Launchbury - 6
Very quiet in both the lineout and around the park, and could be in danger of losing his place to Lawes next week.
28/32 Geoff Parling - 6
Stuart Lancaster stuck with him for his control, and he attracted a lot of attention in the lineout. Smashed opposite number Retallick in the first half with a powerful tackle.
29/32 Tom Wood - 6
Took on a lot of responsibility in the lineout and showed good hands to create the final try. Ran his heart out and unlucky to be on the losing side.
30/32 Chris Robshaw - 6
Snaffled a long-range pass with a turn of pace akin to a natural seven, and performed his usual link role between the pack and the backs to reasonable effect. Not as prominent in the loose though.
31/32 Ben Morgan - 6
Much quitter this week but showed one good run off the base of the scrum to inject England with some go forward. Likely to be replaced by Vunipola next week.
32/32 Chris Ashton - 6
His contribution was minimal in time but maximal in effect as he scored in the dying seconds. Pushing his claim to start next week.
The experiment of playing Manu Tuilagi on the wing failed on this occasion and it is difficult to argue a case for his retention there for the third Test.
Isolated and repeatedly targeted with kicks that made him turn, he bore little resemblance to the tackle-breaking giant that roamed Eden Park.
A popular decision would be his restoration at outside centre with Ashton starting on the right wing, while doubt also hangs over the underperforming Joe Launchbury, Ben Morgan and Danny Care.
It will take a monumental effort to prevent the All Blacks from amassing a 17th successive victory when the series concludes at Waikato Stadium, but Robshaw is adamant it can be done.
"We want to make sure we get a win before New Zealand come to us in the autumn," he said.
"It will be a huge challenge to do it down here in their own backyard.
"But we very firmly believe it's doable. We've shown huge potential over the last few weeks, but that's not what counts."Reuse content