The All Blacks were left feeling flat while England denied bottling the chance for a famous win after the hosts conjured a remarkable three-try finale to secure a 25-25 draw at Twickenham.
The All Blacks were a class above in building a 25-6 lead with 10 minutes to go.
But a yellow card to New Zealand fullback Beauden Barrett and try in the same movement to England replacement prop Will Stuart breathed life back into English hopes with eight minutes to go.
England snapped off long-range tries by fullback Freddie Steward and a second for Stuart with a minute to go, but England, with all the momentum and a man advantage, wasn't interested in going for the win when Marcus Smith kicked out the restart to end the match.
England captain Owen Farrell defended the decision, saying that England were not in a strong field position to attack while coach Eddie Jones said he backed his players' decisions.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster was surprised.
"If you flipped it around, I would have liked our guys to have a crack, so I'm not sure what their tactics were," Foster said, who rued his team's late slip up.
"We'll be more disappointed than them," Foster said.
"I loved the way we played for large parts of the game, we're moving well, but it shows we're not quite there yet."
It's only the second draw in the teams' history, after a 26-26 in 1997 on the same ground.
New Zealand was dominant on both sides of the ball for most of the teams' first meeting since it was inflicted its worst Rugby World Cup defeat in the 2019 semi-finals.
New Zealand bolted to a 14-0 lead after nine minutes converted tries by flanker Dalton Papali'i from an intercept and hooker Codie Taylor from a lineout maul and had another try disallowed.
They went into halftime a deserved 17-3 ahead .
Rieko Ioane bagged New Zealand's third try and Barrett underlined their control by chipping a dropped goal.
But moments later, Barrett was in the sin-bin for committing a professional foul on his tryline and England thrilled in its comeback.
England had needed to score first in the second half and did through a penalty by Smith.
The All Blacks made crosskicks a feature of beating England's defence and Richie Mo'unga kicked over to Caleb Clarke, who let Ioane steam away up the left touchline and score for 22-6.
Down the other end, Barrett knocked over the dropped goal for 25-6 and they were cruising. Then he was in the sin-bin and New Zealand binned the win.