Beauden Barrett can see the irony.

The All Blacks had touched down four times or more in their past 12 tests, but here they were outscored two-tries-to-one by England at Twickenham and escaping on the back of Barrett's accurate boot.

Even with the London rain pelting down, given his goal kicking struggles at times few predicted Barrett would hit his first test match dropped goal and nail a clutch 60th minute penalty while Owen Farrell's failure to convert Chris Aston's opening try proved costly.

"We knew we had to play a different game of rugby. It still took us a while to figure that out in the first half but we got there in the end," Barrett said after the 16-15 victory.

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"Typically if you look at the score sheet it's not the way you'd see an All Blacks test win – two tries to one and so on – but up here you have to find ways to grind out a game. I'm glad we did and it's a step in the right direction for us.

"It means a lot. You would've seen the emotion out there to grind out a tough win against England, this is their fortress. They love to play that type of game, they love these conditions it was a good test for us.

"It's been a while since we've played England so there has been a lot of hype around that. There's a lot of guys who played at Twickenham for the first time so they'll remember that for a long time as will I. We were pushed to the limits."

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Barrett's 46th minute dropped goal was something of a free hit with the All Blacks playing under a penalty advantage.

But, on such a stage, he is sure to take confidence from dropping back in the pocket, splitting the sticks, and learning lessons from the loss to the Springboks in Wellington earlier this year.

"It was a no brainer we had an advantage. We probably would've kicked the goal anyway although we had a bit of momentum going. It felt instinctive because it's something that I've been working on in training. It was the right option at the right time."

Beauden Barrett of New Zealand All Blacks scores a drop goal. Photo / Getty
Beauden Barrett of New Zealand All Blacks scores a drop goal. Photo / Getty

Barrett was, however, powerless to stop Sam Underhill's late try, the English flanker turning him inside and out on the way to the line.

Fortunately for the All Blacks, TMO Marius Jonker eventually rubbed it out with Courtney Lawes deemed offside before charging down TJ Perenara's kick.

Such is their never-say-die attitude, Barrett revealed the All Blacks planned an immediate response.

"We were ready to go short on the kickoff and win the ball back. The more we looked at the tape the more we knew it would be a penalty so we had to think about what next and that was a lineout drive.

"I was impressed with his pace actually."

The All Blacks fly to Dublin tomorrow to prepare for another heavyweight test against the world's No 2 ranked nation.

While they did just enough on this occasion, they certainly can't afford to give Ireland the same head start next week.

"It didn't help we were 15 points down naturally you feel you have to play a lot of rugby to get back into the game and narrow the margin.

"We stopped kicking, built phases and the tempo of the ball sped up and we managed to get in behind them a little bit which helped create pressure and they gave away penalties.

"It wasn't an ideal start but we fought back and always have that belief."