Scotland 22-51 New Zealand

By Ben DirsBBC Sport at Murrayfield
Highlights - Scotland 22-51 New Zealand

The All Blacks stretched their unbeaten run against Scotland to 29 Tests with a comfortable win at Murrayfield, but the hosts can be proud of their efforts.

Scotland wing Tim Visser scored the first of his two tries early on as Andy Robinson's side made New Zealand sweat for periods of the first half.

But the All Blacks' superior cutting edge saw them kill the game with three quick-fire tries before half-time.

Man-of-the match Dan Carter had a hand in three of New Zealand's six tries.

Scotland, who have never beaten New Zealand in 107 years of matches between the two countries, managing only two draws in that time, also became the first side to score three tries against the All Blacks in 2012.

Robinson's side came into this fixture with three straight victories behind them, including one over Australia down under in June.

But while Scotland's defeat of the Wallabies was achieved in a near monsoon in Newcastle, blue skies in Edinburgh, and barely a breath of wind, provided the ideal platform for running, 15-man rugby, the All Blacks' stock in trade.

The vistors were on the scoreboard from their first attack, Carter popping over a penalty after Ross Rennie was penalised for hands in the ruck.

Carter, earning his 93rd international cap, had a chance to double his side's advantage on nine minutes after prop Geoff Cross collapsed a scrum but the All Blacks fly-half pushed his effort wide of the posts.

And shortly after Scotland were ahead, Matt Scott intercepting a pass from Carter and releasing giant Dutch-born winger Visser to score his third Test try.

However, it did not take long for Carter to make amends, unpicking the Scottish defence with an extravagant dummy and shrugging off a weak tackle before offloading to Israel Dagg to score New Zealand's first try.

But Scotland were a match for a disjointed New Zealand outfit for the first half an hour and were level when Greig Laidlaw landed a penalty from right in front.

Centre Tamati Ellison very nearly fashioned a try when he carved through the Scottish defence, only for Carter's long pass to go awry, but Carter did restore the visitors' lead after Scott was penalised for not rolling away.

Julian Savea went over for the visitors' second try after a marauding run down the opposite wing by Victor Vito and some slick handling from the All Blacks' backs and, just like that, Scotland found themselves down by 10 points.

More sensational handling from the All Blacks three-quarters put Cory Jane over in the opposite corner, after an initial break by scrum-half Piri Weepu, and with six minutes to go in the first half the early optimism had receded.

The game was effectively over as a contest when Hore went barrelling over just before the break to make it three tries in eight minutes, although Scotland's spirit had not been extinguished.

Scott thought he had scored in added time only for the video referee to rule he had not touched the ball down but Scotland did get just reward for a period of sustained pressure when Cross burrowed over to reduce the deficit to 34-17 at half-time.

New Zealand flanker Adam Thomson was sin-binned shortly after the restart for standing on Alasdair Strokosch's head at a ruck and Visser went over for his second try after Ellison became isolated in his own 22 and Laidlaw booted the loose ball ahead at the breakdown.

Carter added another penalty before Thomson re-entered the fray but Scotland kept coming in waves, eschewing kicks at goal for kicks to the corner. But New Zealand stood firm in defence and Scotland were unable to find a way through.

In contrast, the first time Carter had the ball in an attacking position in the second half he made something happen, lolloping through a delightful cross-kick and finding Savea, who stepped inside Stuart Hogg before galloping home for his second try of the afternoon.

Centre Ben Smith scampered over for his second Test try with four minutes remaining and Carter's conversion from out wide - his ninth successful kick from 10 - saw the All Blacks pass the half-century, remarkable given they were below par for long periods.

Despite the defeat, Scotland will go into next Saturday's match against South Africa with much to be optimistic about and high hopes of causing an upset.

Steve Hansen's side, meanwhile, head to Italy, who could reap the whirlwind now that the All Blacks have shaken off any autumnal ring rust.


Scotland: 15- Hogg, 14- Lamont, 13- De Luca, 12- Scott, 11- Visser, 10- Laidlaw, 9- Blair; 1- Grant, 2- Ford, 3- Cross, 4- Gray, 5- Hamilton, 6- Strokosch, 7- Rennie, 8- Brown (C)

Replacements: 16- Lawson (for Ford, 65), 17- Jacobsen (for Grant, 67), 19- Kellock (for Hamilton, 58) 20- Denton (for Rennie, 19), 21- Pyrgos (for Blair, 75), 22- Jackson (for Laidlaw, 67), 23- Evans (for De Luca, 65). Not used: 18- Traynor.

New Zealand: 15- Dagg, 14- Jane, 13- Smith, 12- Ellison, 11- Savea, 10- Carter, 9- Weepu; 1- Crockett, 2- Hore, 3- Franks, 4- Romano, 5- Whitelock, 6- Thomson, 7- McCaw (C), 8- Vito

Replacements: 16- Coles (for Hore, 62), 17- Woodcock (for Crockett, 72), 18- B Franks (for O Franks, 62)), 19- Williams (for Whitelock, 67), 20- Cane, 21- Kerr-Barlow (for Weepu, 62), 22- Barrett (for Dagg, 26). Not Used: 20- Cane, 23 - Nonu.

Sin Bin: Thomson (44).

Att: 67,144

Ref: Jerome Garces (France).


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