It feels a bit unusual and nearly like a role reversal.
"As players we are all feeling pretty chilled out at the moment".
New Zealand: J Barrett; I Dagg, A Lienert-Brown, N Laumape, J Savea; B Barrett, A Smith; J Moody, C Taylor, O Franks, B Retallick, S Whitelock, J Kaino, S Cane, K Read (capt). Nowhere else in sport would a side who were "getting better" disband overnight and not be seen again for four summers. Improbable does not begin to cover it. "But what it will do, win, lose or draw, is it will make this team stronger". Just about audible above the hissing rain on Auckland's pavements was the sound of hundreds of All Blacks spinning furiously in their graves.
They will be hurting after losing, they don't lose too often so they will be hurting.
"It is definitely the biggest challenge we have had in all of our careers including previous Lions tours, World Cups, Six Nations and all the big games in Europe the lads have been involved in", he told Sky Sports News HQ. While the Lions' hard press on defence was a notable feature of the second Test, I was even more impressed with their attacking endeavour.
In contrast, the unchanged Lions sound nearly spookily optimistic. "We won the first one up front, they won the second one up front, so whoever wins that battle at the weekend will probably have a smile on their face".
"You've got to be excited about it - it's one of the biggest games of their lives".
"Laumape coming in at 12 caused us problems last week, so we've got to be ready for him". It's a tied series, so both teams are going to try to bring it.
The Lions boss also then shifted the pressure further onto the All Blacks, by claiming his players are under no pressure for their futures. "We didn't speak today about the All Blacks team that was selected".
"On a Lions tour I don't think the players are under any pressure for their future", said Gatland.
They had comfortably seen off France in pool play but the rematch turned into a trapdoor of uncertainty until referee Craig Joubert ended the 8-7 anxiety.
"So we need to be able to take ourselves to a place we've never been before, both mentally and physically".
"If you have a tight game and it becomes a major factor, you as a fan, you as a journalist, me as a coach, me as a fan, become frustrated by that - and it just chips away at the game".
When the 31-year-old left the field early in the first Test against the British and Irish Lions two weeks ago, it was thought to be his third case of concussion for the year.
Gatland said: "There's no doubt. they have an opportunity to leave a bit of a legacy, don't they?" It's an opportunity that hasn't come around since 1971.
"For me, this series has been about trying to embrace it, enjoy all the special moments you get throughout the series". We know we've stressed the All Blacks at times and scored some great tries.