Leinster outside half Jonny Sexton kicked 23 points with eight successive goals for the Irish, but then missed with a penalty that would have earned his side a draw. His kick drifted wide to the right of the posts and the Maoris added the Irish scalp to those of England, Argentina, Scotland, Fiji, and the 2005 British & Irish Lions captured since the game went professional.
"We gave ourselves a bit of a mountain to climb. Full credit to the boys, we stuck at it and grafted hard," said Murphy.
"But the Maori played well and deserved their win. A lot of guys got run-outs and there's positives for us to review."
The home side raced into a 15-0 lead thanks to tries from wing Hosea Gear and centre Dwayne Sweeney and Luke McAlister added a penalty and conversion. That rocked the Irish XV and six successive penalties from the reliable Sexton boot tied up the scores at 18-18 at half-time.
Things improved further for the tourists when Paddy Wallace skipped over for a try and Sexton's conversion made it 25-18. A long range McAlister penalty and a third home try, this time from flanker Karl Lowe, which Willie Repia converted regained the lead for the Maoris at 28-25, but Sexton's seventh penalty levelled matters again.
Then came the dramatic finish as replacement outside half Repia kept his cool to land a late penalty to steal the lead, before Sexton crucially lost his 100% record as he tried to grab a share of the spoils.