A dropped ball from Jermaine McGillvary with minutes remaining saw Great Britain’s chances of winning the first Test go up in smoke in Auckland.
The Kiwis led 12-8 heading into the final five minutes and it looked like the Lions had levelled matters with the Huddersfield winger appearing to go over in the corner.
Referee Chris Kendall sent it to the video referee and television replays showed that McGillvary had dropped the ball under immense pressure from Kenny Bromwich.
New Zealand had some disruption ahead of this game with Brandon Smith dropped for disciplinary reasons, while Kieran Foran picked up a dislocated shoulder five minutes into the game and had to be replaced.
Jamayne Isaako kicked the Kiwis ahead after eight minutes with a penalty, before Gareth Widdop returned the favour less than 10 minutes later.
Both defences were on top and it took until the 49th minute for the first try to be score when Roger Tuivasa-Sheck carved up the Lions defence, leaving Alex Walmsley and Elliot Whitehead in his wake, to send Isaako in at the corner to lead 6-2.
Corey Harawira-Narea showed amazing strength to get New Zealand’s second try and the conversion from Isaako put the Kiwis 12-2 in front.
The Lions had opportunities to score but they looked devoid of any attacking ideas inside New Zealand’s half. The game was becoming very scrappy with the Kiwis attempting to slow the game down, which frustrated the tourists.
The Lions eventually crossed the whitewash with 12 minutes to go with Daryl Clark forcing his way over and Widdop’s kick reduced the arrears to four points to set up a tense finish.
Great Britain thought they had got in a position to win the game when McGillvary looked to have gone over in the corner, but he dropped the ball thanks to a great last-ditch tackle from Bromwich – and their chance of victory had gone as the Kiwis held for a 12-8 success.