Stunning O'Brien try one to savour for beaten Lions
The mighty All Blacks were convincing and worthy winners at Eden Park, but a painful first Test for the British and Irish Lions at least provided one breathtaking passage of play that will live long in the memory.
In the context of a 30-15 home victory, Sean O'Brien's 36th-minute score was ultimately nothing more than a bump in the road for New Zealand.
Yet while Steve Hansen's magnificent side appear highly likely to underline their status as the best in the world with a 3-0 series victory, the most spectacular action of the opening Test undoubtedly came courtesy of the tourists.
Make no mistake, the move that led to O'Brien's try is one that will be replayed for decades to come. If you have yet to see it, find a clip and watch it right now. If you have seen it, just watch it again anyway.
JPR Williams' famous touchdown for the Barbarians against the All Blacks in 1973 is viewed by many rugby fans as the greatest try of all time, but the Lions' first-half effort in Auckland cannot be far behind.
Ahead of Saturday's match, much of the focus centred on Warren Gatland's decision to omit two of his most reliable servants for the Lions and Wales - George North and Leigh Halfpenny - in order to start with Elliot Daly and Liam Williams alongside Anthony Watson in the back three.
Both Daly and Williams did plenty to justify their selections, despite a late error from the latter leading to a New Zealand try, but their most telling impact surely exceeded even Gatland's highest expectations.
As the half-time hooter approached, the Lions were 13-3 down and in desperate need of a spark. At their Auckland fortress, New Zealand were proving too quick, too skilful and quite simply too good.
What better time for Gatland's men to provide a moment of pure sporting magic?
Williams was the architect of a stunning length-of-the-field move. The full-back initially left All Blacks skipper Kieran Read for dead with a silky step, before evading two further tacklers on a dashing surge out of his own 22.
The support arrived in the nick of time. Just as Williams was brought down on halfway, Jonathan Davies came up on his left shoulder to receive the ball before setting Daly away down the left wing.
As the hosts desperately scrambled numbers back, Daly drew his man superbly with an inside to out run and returned the ball to Davies. The charging centre was then stopped just short of the line by Beauden Barrett, but Davies skilfully threw a pass on the spin to O'Brien, who was able to round off the most spectacular of high-speed moves.
Steve Hansen on the Sean O'Brien try. "One of the best Test tries I've ever seen."-- Rugby World (@Rugbyworldmag) June 24, 2017
The Lions had scored a try in the opening Test of a tour to New Zealand for the first time since 1971. After 46 years, this was some way to break their duck.
On the day, it was not enough. New Zealand overcame a shaky start to the second half to reassert their dominance and wrap up victory long before Rhys Webb added a second try for Gatland's men after the full-time hooter.
Few will forget the Lions' first-half score, though. It might not mean much right now, but we are sure to see it again and again.