'Wales did everything but win this game,' said lead writer Simon Roberts. 'The All Blacks creaked under the pressure exerted by Wales but they still scraped victory.
'(Coach) Graham Henry's decision to go for youth over experience nearly came back to bite him on the backside, but it was the experience of (forwards) Richie McCaw, Chris Jack and Keven Mealamu that saved his skin.'
Two former Welsh and Lions greats - first five-eighth Barry John and prop Graham Price - believed Wales could look ahead with great confidence but lamented that their losing record to the All Blacks had extended by one more test to 17, dating back 51 years.
'We require that one really big win to allow us back onto the top table of world rugby,' Price wrote. 'Rather that than continually scrabbling about for crumbs of comfort.'
Despite the dramatic nature of match, it was relegated in importance in the British Sunday newspapers, which devoted more space to England's 32-16 crushing of South Africa at Twickenham. The general theme was that England were reincarnated under new coach Andy Robinson after a year of lows since winning the World Cup.
Reports out of Cardiff focused on the brilliance of winger Joe Rokocoko and his two tries which they said helped save an All Blacks team who had struggled up front and been initially overawed by the occasion.
'Amid a cacophonous racket that assaulted the senses, Wales laid a similarly rattling siege to New Zealand's half-century of dominance over them and, yet again, came up short,' wrote Hugh Godwin in The Independent. 'The back division rescued New Zealand. The Welsh dragon breathed fire up front, all right, but whenever the Blacks went wide they were smoulderingly hot.'
In The Guardian, Eddie Butler was critical of both team's error rates and a lack of intensity at scrum time but said the high pace and ferocity at the tackle more than made up for it.
'For simple, breathless rugby, played across the width of the pitch and hurtling up and down from one end to the other, Wales are just about the hottest ticket in town. Well, they may be challenged on that. But only by New Zealand, who love to play more enterprisingly than anybody else,' Butler wrote. 'Nobody rucks like the All Blacks and they left a trail of blood up and down their opponents' torsos and even the head of the venerable Gareth Llewellyn playing in his 92nd test.'