Scotland should take a lot of heart from All Blacks loss

Scotland’s losing streak to the All Blacks has continued this morning, falling to New Zealand 24-26 in Edinburgh.

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It was a shaky performance from the All Blacks right throughout the match, and if not for Jeremy Thrush’s try in the 75th minute, Scotland would have been in with a shout right until the final hooter.

Scottish captain Greig Laidlaw had the opportunity to put his side in front with 10 minutes to play after a penalty inside the 22, but the halfback goal kicker pushed the shot wide.

Laidlaw angrily smacked his hands to his head following the miss.

The miss let the All Blacks off the hook and was a massive moment in the game.

The All Blacks start was much improved this week, Victor Vito’s early try gave the All Blacks the lead after the Hurricanes power forward showed why he can never be overlooked in the international selection picture.

Vito bumped his way through two Scottish defenders to crash over for a try after breaking the defensive line seconds earlier.

In his first run on start for the All Blacks since November 2013, Daniel Carter started unconvincingly with the boot but quickly returned to form and converted all his kicks after the initial missed two.

All Black coach Steve Hansen said that the team expected a tough game against the Scots, and said post match that the All Blacks had to earn their victory in front of the 62,000 strong Scottish crowd.

Perhaps the thing that sticks out most from the last couple of weeks is that the All Blacks aren’t finishing off sides as well as what the New Zealand rugby faithful are used to.

Is this a concern for RWC next year?

Not at this stage.

But Scotland proved in this match that on their day they can be real giant killers, and should take much pride from the performance against the All Blacks this time round.

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