Scotland squander place in the history books against the All Blacks
There was something like a collective groan from the Murrayfield faithful on the final whistle as Scotland were denied a groundbreaking afternoon having squandered a nine-point lead over New Zealand with 20 minutes left on the clock. The hosts played with promising intensity but, as if not wishing to tempt fate, the crowd remained cagey throughout.
The question before kick-off was could Scotland finally break a 31-winless streak stretching back 117 years and finally beat New Zealand for the first time?
The answer after eight minutes was highly unlikely because the All Blacks started as they have so many times in the past, with Scott Barrett opening the scoring after just two minutes. Scotland looked stunned by the try and their disorientation allowed wing Mark Telea to score on debut shortly afterwards. But the Scots then scored 23 unanswered points in a 50-minute period, so it was little wonder that head coach Gregor Townsend admitted that regret was his overriding emotion rather than pride. “It is mainly disappointment as we don’t get to play New Zealand every couple of years like we used to. It has been five years. That was the biggest lead we had against New Zealand in our history, and we didn’t get a win,” he said.
Townsend looked shellshocked as he reflected on where the defeat ranks among his biggest setbacks during his five years in the job. “Probably Japan at the World Cup would be up there. This is really disappointing…We knew that when you play the way we did you should win the game, but we didn’t.”
Ian Foster, Townsend’s opposite number, who has been under fire for a year because of his side’s slump in form, was a picture of relief and credited New Zealand’s bench for turning the game around in the last quarter. The All Blacks had been lax in their discipline for an hour but did not concede a penalty in the final 20 minutes.
Foster said: “I was delighted to come away with a good win for many reasons. One being the composure we showed in the last 20 minutes when you are away from home against a team that has their tails up that can be hard to turn around. The bench gave us a lot of composure.”
Scotland’s Stuart Hogg may have looked like a man possessed throughout the match, but scrum-half TJ Perenara, in his first Test appearance of 2022, matched that from the touchline, warming up furiously. When he replaced Finlay Christie and was introduced alongside veteran hooker Codie Taylor, they both brought a ferocity to the All Blacks’ ruck speed while Rieko Ioane gave the attack a new edge.
New Zealand’s early sorties had a distinct air of familiarity and one only had to look up to the coaches box to see Joe Schmidt, the former Ireland head coach and now Foster’s attack coach, to understand why.
However, rather than deflating like the crowd, Scotland bloomed at 14-0 down and their fight-back was sparked by Hogg, who earned a penalty try as he was tackled off the ball while centre Anton Lienert-Brown was sent to the sin bin for the challenge.
Scotland were a team transformed after that score. Although much of the debate prior to kick off had surrounded Finn Russell’s return to the squad and how he would face off against Beauden Barrett, Gloucester’s Chris Harris showed his class by marshalling the defence from outside centre in the first half while playing a key link role in attack.
The Scottish feel-good factor continued with Darcy Graham’s swift follow up on 14 minutes.
Where Scotland lost the game was their failure to exploit all the openings presented to them. Darcy Graham looked to score his second on 28 minutes only to be knocked into touch.
As the first half went on and Scotland kept the All Blacks pinned back, such were the stakes, the crowd exuded nervous energy instead of unbridled joy. But there had been even more emotion after the Haka when Doddie Weir in a wheelchair accompanied by his sons presented the ball. All Blacks captain Sam Whitelock described the moment as “humbling” while his Scotland counterpart Jamie Ritchie revealed what he whispered to the motor neurone disease campaigner in the moments before kick off: “I said to Doddie before we went out: ‘We want to do it for you.’ I think he would have been proud of us and the way we performed.”
The sin-binning of back row Jack Dempsey at 64 minutes and the intensity brought by the replacements, particularly around the breakdown, pushed Scott Barrett and Telea on for a second try apiece to clinch the match for New Zealand and break Scottish hearts.
Scotland v New Zealand as it happened
Few doubts over Finn Russell’s inclusion
A resurgence of confidence…
At an unfortunate time for England fans, as the All Blacks travel to Twickenham next week.
The team meet for the first time since the semi-final of the World Cup in 2019, when England came away the victors for the first time in seven years.
Ian Foster speaks to Amazon Prime
It was a tough game. I thought Scotland were tremendous, they put us under a lot of pressure.
Our bench was strong and that strength and composure was important.
It was a high penalty count game and that allowed Scotland to get into our half too often, so we need to work on that.
It would have been easy for us to panic in the last 15 minutes and Sam Whitelock deserves a lot of credit for keeping the boys calm.
Quite the debutant
Gregor Townsend speaks to Amazon Prime
We’re disappointed. So much to be proud about, but we wouldn’t see it through, so that’s a disappointment for our squad and also our supporters.
It was good [the team’s courage]. It was a show of resilience after going 14-nil down, and there was a lot of good play as well as the resilience. But we didn’t win.
You don’t get to play New Zealand very often, that was our best opportunity to beat them, [and we didn’t].
Stony-faced is not the word.
Captain Jamie Ritchie speaks to Amazon Prime
It’s tough to be on the wrong side of the result.
It’s some of the best rugby we’ve played over the last three weeks and I’m so proud of the players.
We’re glad we could put on a decent show for Doddie [Weir] just a shame we couldn’t get the win.
We spoke about being brave today, and nothing defines brave more than Doddie.
This will be hard to take for Scotland
That long-held lead was well-deserved, but they had been able to take advantage of some sloppy play from New Zealand. When the All Blacks tightened up and refocused, there wasn’t enough in the tank to preserve their points cushion, and Dempsey’s yellow card came at the worst possible time.
Small comfort, however, is that this is the highest scoreline for Scotland against the All Blacks since 1996.
Player of the match Dalton Papali’i speaks to Amazon Prime
We trusted our leaders and we went in at half time, and said the rub of the green wasn’t going our way.
We started to get momentum back and we won from there.
On keeping calm in the second half:
I wasn’t really calm. We trusted our game drivers […] and we trusted our calls.
We’ve just got to keep trusting ourselves.
NEW ZEALAND BEAT SCOTLAND 31-23
One last lineout to defend, and Scotland push and push the maul to protect their margin. New Zealand are awarded a penalty, to the crowd’s roar of misery, and as the ball is kicked, the whistle blows.
Death, taxes, losing to the All Blacks. Heartbreak for Scotland.
78 min: Scotland 23 New Zealand 31
Dempsey lopes on, his absence having given way to 17 points. There’s drama as Graham streaks forward chasing a long ball, and is brought down, but the referee says no issue there either.
Hogg takes a long All Blacks kick, inching up the pitch, but when the ruck comes, Scotland release too late and a penalty goes New Zealand’s way: that has to be it for the home side.
76 min: TRY!!! Scotland 23 New Zealand 31
Graham passes to Hogg who hoof the ball up for Clarke, as Scotland surge forward. The All Blacks look to push forward, and Scotland are overeager in the ruck, conceding a penalty.
Peranara sets up a running Frizell as the All Blacks edge closer to shutting down the game. They look for options across the field, making good ground as they cross into Scotland’s 22.
Then Perenara gets an inch of space and sets up Telea on the blindside, running effortlessly to pull a try from very little indeed! A great debut that has almost certainly ruined Scottish afternoons.
The crowd audibly fumes, believing a possible grounding issue on should be inspected, but the TMO says: no problem.
A lovely conversion doesn’t help stadium tensions.
72 min: Scotland 23 New Zealand 24
Hogg picks up possession, setting back as Scotland look to force their way out of their 22, playing for time before Dempsey can return to the pitch.
Scott Barrett is tended to by the medics after apparently being punched, and he’s quickly replaced by Vaai. If there is anything, the TMO will find it, but it’s all quiet on the technological front.
Graham picks up the ball and carries well, as Scotland throw the line up, fighting for ground.
70 min: Scotland 23 New Zealand 24
Agony for Scotland just as the ball is cleared for the scrum and carried, they concede. Frizell brings down the ball in the ensuing lineout, as the All Blacks gain precious metres, and Scotland regroup to try and recapture momentum.
68 min: Scotland 23 New Zealand 24
More changes for Scotland, Bennett for Price, and Schoeman back on for the injured Sutherland.
66 min: TRY!!! Scotland 23 New Zealand 24
New Zealand have a scrum just under the posts, which Scotland scramble to defend, as Frizell edges closer and closer.
This time, the All Blacks get in under the wire and it’s a try for Scott Barrett!
It’s converted quickly, and the All Blacks are back in the lead, whilst Scotland are a man down. How the tables turn indeed!
64 min: Scotland 23 New Zealand 17
The All Blacks make good ground, Taylor carrying well, and Scotland’s defence has to rise to pin down Bower. But New Zealand keep hold of the play, pushing and pushing, and it’s Papalii who has the break, looking to bypass the post, but he’s caught in the nick of time.
There’s a fracas, and the TMO is brought in to review Dempsey’s late tackle, which may yet yield him in a yellow card, and there’s a deliberate knock-on penalised as well.
Yellow card as Dempsey heads off. As does Sutherland, who has been badly injured, and he’s taken off in the cart.
62 min: PENALTY!!! Scotland 23 New Zealand 17
New Zealand do very well off a well-positioned scrum, and Beauden Barrett looks to set up a sprinting Clarke, but the ball is overpowered past him.
The All Blacks have a penalty, however, and get to play it as Jordie Barrett steps up to take the kick. It’s good, and the All Blacks can re-involve themselves in the match.
60 min: Scotland 23 New Zealand 14
A dangerous moment for Scotland, who have to pull down Telea streaking down the wing, but he is forced into touch. Scotland are really cooking with gas, keeping the pressure up, but need to shore things up by converting some of their positive action into tries.
Changes for Scotland, as Nel and Sutherland take to the pitch.
58 min: Scotland 23 New Zealand 14
Hogg in the 22 sends the ball flying and the ball bounces awkwardly for Barrett as Scotland use the extra seconds to spring forward. There’s a spell of kicking tennis, which Scotland come off the better of.
56 min: Scotland 23 New Zealand 14
Russell spills the ball, creating a possibly-costly mistake for Scotland. Scotland lock up to defend as Barrett sends a cross-field kick towards Clarke but he can’t reach it before it heads into touch.
A brief water break comes before the lineout, and there have been changes for New Zealand: Ioane, Bower, Newell on for Havili, De Groot, Laulala.
New Zealand give away yet another penalty, continuing to look unfocused. Scotland were deep in their 22, and now have a get out.
Another change: Christie and Taukei’aho, Taylor and Perenara
54 min: PENALTY!!! Scotland 23 New Zealand 14
Scotland win the penalty, and again, it looks good for Russell to put it through the post. In the absence of following through on some of those try-scoring opportunities, three points look good.
Easy as pie, Russell collects them!
51 min: Scotland 20 New Zealand 14
Christie kicks the ball high, and it drops vertically for Van der Merwe. Gaining ground, he’s next to streak through, setting up Russell to kick forward. When New Zealand win back possession, they’re profligate with it.
Scotland have the scrum now, just in front of the 22m.
48 min: Scotland 20 New Zealand 14
Gray redeems himself moments later, as New Zealand surge forward, shutting down the outlet and winning a favourable lineout for Scotland, who burst into the 22.
There’s a roar as Scotland break down the blindside, Hogg on the run but he falls shot just in front of the line, and in the muddle, New Zealand again gain the penalty – here is where Scotland have lacked clinical edge.
45 min: Scotland 20 New Zealand 14
Scotland’s lead was slender, and good chances were missed by the home side in the first half, but now they have a little more in the tank, and embolden, Hogg in control kicks the ball down the touchline seeking runners as he threads through the New Zealand defence.
Scotland win a lineout, but New Zealand push back, and Scotland give away easy yards with a cleared penalty. There’s a bit of argie-bargie that Gray involves himself in, but the referee breaks it up with a swift castigation.
42 min: PENALTY!!! Scotland 20 New Zealand 14
Christie boots the ball down the pitch for Van der Merwe to collect, carrying well as Scotland expand on the run. Schoeman powers through before encountering resistance, setting up runners before going to ground.
Scotland win a penalty off the good work of Van der Merwe, good-looking enough to aim for the posts.
Russell steps up to take the kick, as a hush falls over Murrayfield. The silence before the roar: penalty for Scotland!
We’re back underway at Murrayfield.
Watson failed HIA
Announced in the final moments of the first half, that means Dempsey stays on for now.
Nigh-on unknown territory for the All Blacks
A thrilling first half
The way that the All Blacks opener, we might have anticipated a deluge from the visitors, but Scotland were able to crawl back into the match, and make the All Blacks look blunted with the scale of their comeback.
There’s no accounting for what’s to come, with the quality that New Zealand have, but there are a lot of happy spectators at Murrayfield right now.
Darcy Graham’s heart-stopper
40 min: Scotland 17 New Zealand 14
New Zealand concede their eighth penalty, as Scotland go hunting, under pressure from a confident Scottish side. Just before halftime, they look to profit from the lineout.
The ball bounces well for Dempsey, who makes metres, as Scotland threaten on the blindside, before sending the ball to the centre, Gilchrist driving before setting up Van der Merwe on the run. He can’t get through, but Scotland feel inches closer. They restart just on the line, but again, there’s a penalty from the All Blacks, who pull out some clutch defending as the half ends!
37 min: Scotland 17 New Zealand 14
Down the scrum goes, the referee unhappy with the picture, and on the second, it’s Scotland who come away the better, likely after Laulala gets too long. The perfect result for Scotland, and good ground gained.
35 min: Scotland 17 New Zealand 14
Taukei’aho makes important ground in Scotland’s 22, as the All Blacks continue to nibble forward, Clarke setting up down the blindside, but Scotland are lock up very well here, Gray thundering in to make the stop.
Scotland win a scrum, but play pauses as Graham is patched up. He’s bleeding after possibly getting a stray boot to the face.
32 min: Scotland 17 New Zealand 14
New Zealand, now eager for the fightback, make impressive ground with the maul, before passing off to Christie, who sets up Whitelock.
Scotland knock on for a New Zealand scrum, but there’s a pause as Gray is tended to.
30 min: PENALTY!!! Scotland 17 New Zealand 14
The line-out is impressively managed as Scotland attempt to drive the maul forwards towards the tryline. Scotland is granted a penalty, but they play out the advantage switching to that profitable right wing, Hogg on the run, then Graham making the final metres for the try – but the assistant referee sees Graham in touch.
Scotland instead play their lineout on the 5m line, slightly overthrown, but the home side push and push, forwards carrying in centre. Again a penalty is given, again advantage taken, as Russell receives to kick in front of himself for Hogg on the run. It’s over-played, and this time, Russell takes a penalty kick straight through the posts!
26 min: Scotland 14 New Zealand 14
New Zealand bully their way back from the lineout on the halfway, but the defence swarm, holding back Taukei’aho and winning a penalty for Scotland.
Scotland look to gain ground now, freeing themselves, as Brown skirts leftwards to try and get past Telea. As he turns and turns, the defence again concedes a penalty.
24 min: Scotland 14 New Zealand 14
Jordie Barret clears to touch for a lineout right on halfway, as the All Blacks seek to stamp their authority on a game which has sprinted away from them in the past ten minutes.
Whitelock tries to break through, then Laulala, and when the ball is sent left for another option, Hogg leaps for the intercept.
22 min: Scotland 14 New Zealand 14
New Zealand have the maul but obstruct Scotland, who win the scrum. Scotland have had 73% possession during this period, having capitalised well on Leinert-Brown’s exit.
After the reset, Price takes a quick free kick, but try as they might, Scotland’s Van der Merwe can’t snake too far through New Zealand’s packed field.
Time served, Leinert-Brown makes his way onto the field during a pause in play while Havili is patched up by on-pitch medics.
19 min: Scotland 14 New Zealand 14
Watson, who took out Barrett, have done himself an injury, and Scotland are forced into an early change, with Dempsey coming on as Watson goes for an HIA.
Scotland punish their way through, questing for the try, but All Blacks manage to gain by a whisper. The spectators think it’s a try, as does the announcement, who accidentally flips on the music, but the referee gives Scotland a penalty instead for the hold.
17 min: Scotland 14 New Zealand 14
Scotland’s territory is well-defended, and Van der Merwe gives good chase before flooring Barrett on the touchline and gift Scotland the lineout.
Scotland set off looking flashy rightwards, and storm up into New Zealand’s 22. They have teeth now, taking maximum advantage of New Zealand being a man down. Jordie Barrett is tackled into touch, and Scotland will look to profit in a dangerous area.
15 min: TRY!!! Scotland 14 New Zealand 14
What a recovery from Scotland! After looking for a route through on the left, which New Zealand seeks to shut down, it’s the right wing which is under siege after Darcy Graham fabulously gets in the way of the All Blacks passing, and sparks off in a lung-burning run to score a try!
New Zealand are in his dust!
Russell converts, and oh, how the tables have turned.
12 min: PENALTY TRY!!! Scotland 7 New Zealand 14
He tackles too early! It’s deemed a probable try, and Leinert-Brown is off to the sin-bin with a yellow card.
Scotland have their penalty try, which is well-deserved by the look of it, as the clever play deserved reward.
11 min: Scotland 0 New Zealand 14
The All Blacks continue to gain ground, looking so competent, but Scotland don’t through an inch further into their 22m, winning a penalty as they seek to break momentum.
Russell clears to touch, as Brown quickly passes to Graham, and the space created sets up Hogg for a trailblazing run through the centre, kicking in front of himself to set up for the try. He looks to get there but then – smack! – Leinert-Brown just behind him takes him out, and off the ball!
Does the bounce of the ball take him away? The TMO is called in to check…
7 min: TRY!!! Scotland 0 New Zealand 14
Promising for Scotland who nick the ball back, disrupting the lineout, but Matt Fagerson is shut up as the All Blacks turn up. Leinert-Brown sets up a running Clarke before being smacked back.
With the advantage, Telea is set up with a peach of a pass which flies long to the right in front of the debutante. He motors in and scores an uncontested try! What a start for the player.
Barrett converts again.
5 min: Scotland 0 New Zealand 7
Scotland win a knock-on advantage, and it’s Watson who carries, before being stymied and setting Scotland up to cut through the middle. After some smart opening play from Russell, Fagerson is brought to ground, and in the end, the All Blacks can lock up, and win the penalty.
3 min: TRY!!! Scotland 0 New Zealand 7
All Blacks have the first lineout, Taukei’auho looking to pummel through and gain ground. Telea receives the ball on the right, on the run as he pushes past Hogg, but he can’t gain too much ground. Scotland concede a penalty, under pressure 4m off the touchline.
With the advantage, New Zealand can blaze across the line, Barrett with the try after they profit once again from the lineout!
The worst possible start for Scotland, as Jordie Barrett converts.
Doddie Weir is pitchside, widely applauded, and surrounded by his three sons, all clad in his signature tartan. They come out onto the pitch, with the young ball carrier.
Kate Rowan is at Murrayfield:
After a beautifully observed minutes silence accompanied by a lone piper for Remembrance Sunday – the crowd made themselves known during the Haka attempting to drown it out with chants of “Scotland, Scotland”.
However, any sense of partisanship disappeared again for Doddie Weir’s arrival with the match ball which had both sides clap his arrival and a standing arrival from all at Murrayfield…
‘Loch Lomond’ rings around the stadium, as the whistle blows – we’re underway!
Scotland bunch up to face the Haka, arms looped over shoulders, staring impassively at the formidable display, which is finished to rousing applause.
Moments until kick-off.
The players stream out onto the pitch
To mark Remembrance Sunday, a piper leads the silence playing ‘Flowers of the Forest’ to a quietened Murrayfield. The silence is respected, before the whistle bursts and the ground erupts into applause.
Next up, the anthems, New Zealand’s first. This doesn’t receive the same rousing response the Black Ferns had at a soldout Eden Park before their barnstorming title-winning performance yesterday, but the players look in full voice.
‘Flower of Scotland’ is led by a lone piper before being sung unaccompanied, just in case the hairs on the back of your neck weren’t already standing up.
The 12 players Warren Gatland is most excited to watch this autumn
Scotland and New Zealand have a player apiece that make it into Gatland’s 12 players to watch, Darcy Graham and Jordie Barrett.
A moment of All Blacks magic denies Scotland famous victory
Things finished 17-22 at Murrayfield in 2017, the last time these two teams met here, and it was arguably the closest Scotland have ever come to overturning their barren legacy against New Zealand.
Revist the match here, and something glorious right here…
All-changed All Blacks
There have been wholesale changes to the New Zealand team this week, with Ian Foster making seven changes to the starting XV that beat Wales 55-23 last weekend.
In at the front are Laulala, Taukei’aho, and Akira Ione, and at the back, Havili, Christie, Lienert-Brown, and Telea, who makes his debut, earning his first cap for the All Blacks.
Gregor Townsend speaks to Amazon Prime
It’s a huge occasion, we’ve not played New Zealand since 2017, and that was a very special night.
It was a cracking match, so we know we have to deliver a similar, even better performance, to win.
Finn [Russell] has been very good. He got in on Tuesday.
He’s led the attack really well this week.
You can tell by the players faces this is a big opportunity for them […] they may not play New Zealand again.
A moving tribute
For today’s match, Scotland will wear Doddie Weir’s tartan to mark five years since the launch of the Scottish legend’s motor neuron disease research foundation.
Weir will be in attendance at the match, after delivering the match ball at the same fixture the last time these two teams ran out in 2017.
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Chris Harris (vc), 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price; 1 Pierre Schoeman, 2 Fraser Brown, 3 Zander Fagerson, 4 Richie Gray, 5 Grant Gilchrist (vc), 6 Jamie Ritchie (c), 7 Hamish Watson, 8 Matt Fagerson
Replacements: Ashman, Sutherland, Nel, Gray, Dempsey, White, Kinghorn, Bennett
New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 15 Mark Telea, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 David Havili, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Beauden Barrett 9 Finlay Christie; 1 Ethan De Groot, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 3 Nepo Laulala, 4 Samuel Whitelock (c), 5 Scott Barrett, 6 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papali’i, 8 Ardie Savea
Replacements: Taylor, Bower, Nwewell, Vaa’i, Frizell, Perenara, Perofeta, Ioane
Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s live coverage of Scotland’s autumn international fixture against New Zealand, with kick-off at Murrayfield coming at 2.15pm.
Surely, every coach who managers Scotland thinks: might I be the one to do it? Doubtless, every player does too — could I feature in the Scotland team that finally breaks down the All Blacks?
A momentous day it would be, certainly, with Scotland never having beaten New Zealand, in their 117-year competitive history.
Scotland have had a mixed Autumn campaign, bouncing back from a near-miss against Australia, where a squandered lead was further punished by a missed penalty at the death, with a sturdy showing against Fiji that ended 28-12 in their favour at home.
But facing the All Black requirements pulling no punches. One of the reinforcements that Gregor Townsend has had to make is the recall of Finn Russell, with the fly-half back in the side for the first time since March. Injury to Adam Hastings means that Russell immediately makes the starting line-up against the All Blacks, as one of the three changes that Townsend has made to his XV, along with Sione Tuipulotu replacing Cam Redpath, and Fraser Brown coming in for the also-injured George Turner.
Speaking on his late call-up, Townsend referenced Russell’s all-important experience, saying: “For us to be able to call up someone who has played very well for the team in the past, has played against New Zealand a few times, and most importantly has been in really good form the last few weeks, it’s great to have that depth in that position.
“If players are going to perform and fit back in the team, it’s easier to do that if you’ve played for the team on a number of occasions, which Finn has.”
New Zealand will be strutting following last weekend’s strong 55-23 defeat of Wales in Cardiff, and victory over Japan the week before, but their recent past is not in perfection condition either, following shock losses against Argentina, Ireland, and South Africa over the summer.
Will Scotland’s profitless run continue? Stay tuned as we bring you all the build-up, team details, and commentary ahead of 2.15pm.