Rugby: Scots rue defensive lapses

Head coach Andy Robinson rued the lapses which allowed world champions New Zealand to claim a 51-22 win in the EMC Test at Murrayfield.

Rugby News: Scotland vs New Zealand

Seeking a first win over the All Blacks at the 29th attempt, Scotland took an early lead when Tim Visser scored his first of two tries.

However, the tourists responded with three converted tries in a 10-minute spell to take a commanding lead and effectively end the match as a contest as the All Blacks extended their unbeaten run to 18 Tests.

"If you sit off New Zealand they're a very good attacking team and they will take you apart," said Robinson, who confirmed flanker Ross Rennie suffered a dislocated shoulder in the first half.

"That was a lesson that we knew before going into this game, that we had to get off the line, that we had to put them under pressure.

"We did in parts, but you've got to do that consistently for the whole 80 minutes. I thought we just dropped off a little bit on our line-speed and allowed them to play too comfortably."

Scotland number eight Kelly Brown, making his 50th appearance and first as captain, said: "We needed to be a difficult side to beat and out there we weren't."

A Geoff Cross try in first-half stoppage time cut the deficit to 34-17, but the All Blacks were never really in trouble and finished with six tries - Julian Savea (two), Israel Dagg, Corey Jane, Andrew Hore and Ben Smith scoring - and 21 points from the boot of fly-half Dan Carter.

The peerless Carter was at the centre of much of New Zealand's play, his breaks key in many of the scores.

Robinson said: "When you give a guy like that time and space he'll pull the strings.

"He's a fantastic footballer and rugby player. We had to put him under pressure. When he does break the line the team normally score from it."

Scotland, meanwhile, finally appear to have a player capable of fine finishing in Holland-born Edinburgh wing Visser.

Visser, who was making his home Scotland debut, now has four Test tries from three matches, equal third among the matchday squad with Brown.

Matt Scott intercepted a pass from Carter, no less, to put Visser over for the first and the second came after fine work at the breakdown from Greig Laidlaw and a swift pass from Mike Blair.

While happy to continue his prolific streak, Visser was disappointed.

He said: "We put ourselves in a good position in those early stages but gave away a few easy tries after that, which is always disappointing.

"There were various stages of the game where I felt we were in it.

"We were not clinical enough and you give easy tries away and suddenly you're chasing the game again."

The one blot on the tourists' record came when Adam Thomson was sin-binned for stamping on Alasdair Strokosch's head.

Irish citing commissioner Murray Whyte informed Robinson after the game that he will assess the incident over the next 48 hours.

Robinson responded in the affirmative when asked if a boot to the head should result in a red card, but Strokosch was happy with the sanction imposed.

Strokosch said: "It certainly wasn't malicious. There was no damage done. He barely grazed it.

"I would say the yellow card's fine. I wouldn't take it any further. It wasn't a big deal."

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen said: "It looked like he (Thomson) got frustrated because someone was lying over the ball.

"He placed his foot on the guy's head. He didn't stomp him, which was one good thing, but the rules say you can't, so I'm sure someone will be looking at it.

"Someone will look at the game and they'll make a decision if what he did was with malicious intent or reckless. I suggest probably reckless and from there it will take its course.

"Apart from that incident I thought he played particularly well."

It is possible Thomson could miss the Tests with Italy, Wales and England as a result.

Hansen was pleased with the performance, following the draw with Australia which ended the prospect of a record-equalling 17th successive Test win.

"Our guys at times did some wonderful things and when we played well, we played well and scored good points," Hansen added.



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