Rugby World Cup 2007
All Blacks too good for Scots
September 23, 2007
Dan Carter breaks clear toscore against Scotland in a dour game at Murrayfield
© Getty Images
New Zealand recorded a comprehensive 40-0 victory over Scotland in the latest Rugby World Cup Pool C clash at Murrayfield. New Zealand maintained their perfect record in Pool C of the World Cup with a routine victory over a second-string Scotland side at Murrayfield.
Richie McCaw opened the scoring after just five minutes following a wonderful reverse pass from Rodney So'oialo and Doug Howlett added the second 10 minutes later to become the All Blacks' leading try scorer of all time.
Byron Kelleher scored the third try six minutes before half-time before Ali Williams, Dan Carter and a second from Howlett completed the comprehensive triumph. Scotland coach Frank Hadden made 13 changes to the side which defeated Romania for the match with New Zealand in Pool C of the World Cup at Murrayfield.
The only two players to remain in the side were Chris Paterson and Simon Webster - and even they moved positions to stand-off and wing respectively. Flanker John Barclay and prop Alasdair Dickinson were handed daunting debuts against the tournament favourites, while Scotland's most capped player, Scott Murray, was given the captaincy.
All Blacks coach Graham Henry named close to his first-choice side with only Jerry Collins of New Zealand's key players missing from the line-up.
The new-look Scotland pack attempted to keep the ball in the tight during the opening exchanges but could make no progress against their opposite numbers and it was the visitors to Edinburgh who predictably threatened first, Sitiveni Sivivatu failing to gather a classy chip from Dan Carter with only full-back Hugo Southwell to beat.
The respite was only brief as in the fifth minute captain Richie McCaw strolled over from five yards out for New Zealand's first try following a magnificent reverse pass from Rodney So'oialo after the number eight had burst off the back of a scrum.
Their second try followed 10 minutes and it was an historic one, Doug Howlett sliding in at the corner to become New Zealand's record tryscorer of all time with a prolific 47 to his name.
Both sides were forced into changes just after the midway point in the half, Paterson leaving the field with what looked to be an eye problem to be replaced by Dan Parks and Nick Evans coming on for Leon MacDonald at full-back for New Zealand.
Despite their comfortable lead, McCaw demonstrated that he was still taking the challenge of Scotland's second string seriously when he opted to take three points on offer in the 25th minute after Hadden's side were caught offside in front of their own posts.
Carter duly kicked the penalty to add to his conversion of the first try and, perhaps encouraged by McCaw's complement, Scotland immediately constructed their most dangerous attack of the half before running into a black brick wall when they got five yards out.
The All Blacks quickly regained their customary field position deep in the Scottish half and it took an excellent cover tackle from full-back Hugo Southwell to push Sivivatu towards touch, the winger's desperate pass inside going forward before Evans could gather and touch down.
The third try eventually arrived six minutes before the break though, Byron Kelleher muscling his way over after good work up the short side by Carter - who then missed his second conversion of the day.
Henry's side began the new half on the front foot and quickly accepted another three points via Carter's boot to move 23-0 ahead. With Scotland's front row now creaking at every scrum, Hadden made a change by bringing off Edinburgh prop Craig Smith and replacing him with former Leeds man Gavin Kerr.
New Zealand continued to enjoy huge amounts of possession but were clearly still searching for their efficient best, centre Luke McAlister occasionally taking the wrong option to hinder his side's progress.
Perhaps as a result of this lack of precision in midfield, probably the only area of concern for Henry as the knock-out stages loom, McCaw opted to ask Carter to kick another penalty on 56 - only for the stand-off to hit the post from in front of the sticks.
Six minutes later the All Blacks claimed their anticipated bonus point when lock Ali Williams shrugged off the challenges of Webster and replacement scrum-half Rory Lawson to charge in at the corner.
New Zealand's fifth try followed three minutes later when Carter sprinted half the length of the pitch to make it 35-0 after pouncing on a knock-on by winger Nikki Walker in midfield after several phases of more impressive play from Scotland.
Six minutes from the end Howlett scorched clear of Parks to claim his second try of the afternoon after the slickest piece of continuity rugby the All Blacks had produced in the match.
Scotland (0) 0
New Zealand (20) 40
Scotland: Southwell, Walker, Di Rollo, Henderson, Webster, Paterson, Cusiter, Dickinson, S. Lawson, Smith, MacLeod, S. Murray, Brown, Barclay, Callam.
Replacements: Thomson, Kerr, Hamilton, Hogg, R. Lawson, Parks, Dewey.
New Zealand: MacDonald, Howlett, Smith, McAlister, Sivivatu, Carter, Kelleher, Woodcock, Oliver, Hayman, Thorne, Williams, Masoe, McCaw, So'oialo.
Replacements: Hore, Tialata, Jack, Lauaki, Leonard, Evans, Toeava.
Referee: M Jonker (South Africa)