All Blacks cruise past Scotland after shaky start

New Zealand’s All Blacks cruised to a 22-51 victory over Scotland but made a shaky start which had Scotland leading early on at Murrayfield.

Dan Carter scored the first points of the international match bbut Scotland soon intercepted a pass from Carter which led to Tim Visser’s first try.

Winger Tim Visser scored two tries for Scotland and with Cross’s try Scotland became the first team in 2012 to score three tries against the Rugby World Champions.

Visser was making his home-turf Test debut and showed why he is a hot bet to be part of the Lions plans next year.

But the bottom line was that the visitors were in a different league when it came to turning chances into points.

The stadium was brimming with emotion as the firing of a siege gun signalled the start of the period of silence to mark Remembrance Day.

And the Scots looked up for the challenge as they marched forward to answer the challenge of the Haka.

The anticipation level rose further as home-city Olympics hero Chris Hoy delivered the match-ball to the centre spot.

Scotland were under pressure from the start and they infringed at the opening ruck – handing Dan Carter an instant pot at goal.

And to the surprise of no-one, the playmaker calmly chipped it over from 40 metres.

The Kiwis maintained the early momentum, but a superbly weighted lob from veteran scrum-half Mike Blair eased the home jitters by setting up the first Scottish raid.

The good work was spoiled, however, by the concession of a free-kick and then a penalty for front-row crimes – though there was a reprieve when Carter pushed his strike wide of the far post.

Then came the moment that sent the home crowd into raptures.

Carter was back in the spotlight for negative reasons as his floated pass was snatched by Matt Scott, who scuttled into enemy territory.

With the New Zealand markers committed upfield, he popped the ball to winger Visser, who was left with a cruise to the line from 20 metres out – leaving the stage clear for Greig Laidlaw to slot the angled conversion.

Carter made immediate amends by twice getting involved in a well-controlled move which paved the way for full-back Israel Dagg to sprint through for the first Kiwi score. Carter added the extras.

To add to the Scots’ concerns, flanker Ross Rennie was forced off with a shoulder problem and replaced by Dave Denton.

Scotland replied in positive fashion and quickly levelled the issue via the boot of Laidlaw from close range.

And it was the turn of the All Blacks to lose a man, Dagg in agony after a mid-air clash with Sean Lamont.

Carter restored his team’s advantage after Scott held on to a rival too long in the tackle inside his own danger zone.

That was the cue for New Zealand to crank up the pace and a marvellous flowing sequence featuring accurate passing created the time and space for winger Julian Savea to collect try number two.

Carter’s conversion was from the widest possible angle – but he made it look easy.

The destiny of the match was effectively sealed less than two minutes later as the other wing, Cory Jane, skidded over in the corner – Carter again finding the target.

Hooker Andrew Hore was next to break through, taking advantage of slack tackling deep inside the 22-area.

Carter kept his perfect conversion tally.

Scott claimed a stoppage time touchdown for the hosts, but the video referee ruled he had not grounded the ball.

There was still enough time, however, for prop Geoff Cross to burrow over from point-blank range – Laidlaw slotting the kick to slash the gap to 17 points.

There was controversy four minutes after the restart as visiting flanker Adam Thomson was lucky to dodge a red card for a clear stamp on the head of Al Strokosch.

He was merely sent to the sin-bin on the recommendation of the touch

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