More than 74,000 supporters were left short-changed by New Zealand's unprecedented decision to perform their pre-match haka in the dressing room.
The All Blacks say the decision was forced on them by the Welsh Rugby Union because the host nation wanted to change the long-standing custom where the haka is the last thing that is performed just before kick-off.
The WRU had wanted the haka be performed between the anthems, instead of just before kick-off.
Wales had wanted their own national anthem, Hen Wlad fy Nhadau, to be their official response to the challenge.
The All Blacks accepted this change in the previous match 12 months earlier, but only because it was the 100th anniversary of the first encounter between the two nations.
The Kiwis say they had given them a guarantee it would not happen this time around but the WRU claim they informed the New Zealand authorities of the schedule six weeks ago.
Neither side would back down and the result was New Zealand performed the pre-match ritual in the changing room which their players admitted afterwards fired them up even more for the Millennium Stadium showdown.
Confusion reigned at the kick-off with the Welsh players still expecting to face the challenge but the All Blacks simply lined up for the kick-off.
Boos rang around the Millennium Stadium as the crowd soon realised they were going to be denied the opportunity of witnessing one of sport's greatest spectacles.
So who was to blame for the debacle that ensued in Cardiff's showpiece stadium on Saturday evening?
THE WALES VIEW Wru statement
'The WRU has also been advised by a top Maori expert and cultural adviser that the haka is performed to invite a response from the opposing team.
'We were told to stand strong in front of the All Blacks, be defiant, eyeball them and sing in a way that says `this is us, this is who we are, we're tangata whenua', which means the traditional owners and protectors of the land.
'The WRU informed its New Zealand counterparts of the formal pre-match protocol six weeks ago (October 16).
'This followed the pre-match protocol from the very first game in 1905 and replicated last year's schedule.'
WRU chief executive Roger Lewis
'There was no disrespect intended on anyone's part, either on the part of the New Zealanders by not doing the haka or by us for offering to respond.
'In 1905 the haka was performed and then there was the formal response.
'We wanted to respect the traditions of the haka.
'The advice we had been given was that we could respond to the haka as the protectors of our home land and sing our anthem. We offered it and it was declined.
'What surrounds this is the protocol of international matches and it is something we will take up with the IRB, because this is not contained in the IRB protocol.'
'I was disappointed that it didn't happen.
'It was the first time I've faced them on the pitch, so it would have been nice to see that. As a player it would have been good to face the haka.' THE ALL BLACKS VIEW New Zealand captain Richie McCaw.
'The tradition needs to be honoured properly if we're going to do it.
'If the other team wants to mess around, we'll just do the haka in the shed (changing room).
'At the end of the day, haka is about spiritual preparation and we do it for ourselves.
'Traditionally fans can share the experience too and it's sad that they couldn't see it today.
'Players did not take the decision lightly.'
Tour manager Darren Shand
'There's a tradition that has built up over 100 years.
'It is respected around the world and we asked the Welsh Rugby Union to do the same.
'The haka is a special part of world rugby. It'll be a sad day for fans everywhere if we start to erode the tradition.
'We had concerns about last year's change that, unfortunately, seem to be justified."
Coach Graham Henry
'It's a 100-year-old tradition that the haka is done before kick-off.
'Apparently at the first game between Wales and New Zealand in 1905 the haka was done at a different time, after our national anthem and before the Welsh.
'We agreed to the change last year but we had a guarantee it wouldn't happen again. But the WRU asked us to do the same this year and we said no.
'It became a stalemate and we didn't do the haka on the field.
'It's not done for the fans, it's not done for the crowd, it's done for the players, for New Zealand rugby.'
Second-row Ali Williams
'It was a bit different.
'I don't know if people knew whether or not we weren't allowed to do it.
'It was unusual but we got what we got out of it in the changing-room.
'It did chuck a few more coals on the fire.
'We can't help what they want to do.'