Scotland are a rugby team on the rise, say All Blacks

Ben Smith (left) prepares in the gym to face Scotland
Ben Smith (left) says the All Blacks are preparing for a big challenge at Murrayfield
Autumn international: Scotland v New Zealand
Venue: BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Date: Saturday, 15 November Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra & online; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

New Zealand are treating Scotland as a team on the rise up rugby union's world standings despite never having lost to Saturday's hosts.

All Blacks winger Ben Smith said: "They are a team that want to play expansive rugby and they are a dangerous team.

"If they are going to get better, they are going to have to play that kind of rugby and it is the kind of rugby that brings rewards.

"I think they are a team that's on the up and we've got to be on our game."

New Zealand assistant coach Ian Foster
"Scotland showed a desire to play and they are obviously feeling pretty good about that, so I guess all it has done is raise the bar for us a bit about the challenge that is coming on Saturday."

The tourists, who scored more than 50 points on their last visit to Murrayfield in 2012, were given a fright by England on Saturday before winning 24-21 at Twickenham.

"We are not complacent at all," Smith said when asked about Scotland's poor record against New Zealand and his own side's recent tendency to start games poorly.

"We have a big challenge ahead of us this week and we have looked at the game against England and how we can improve."

All Blacks prop Charlie Faumuina was impressed with the Scots as they beat Argentina 41-31 at Murrayfield on Saturday.

"I saw their game last week and thought they are a pretty expansive team and they pushed the Argentine team pretty hard, so that was pretty good," he said.

"I think it is a big challenge for us this week and another step up.

"They pushed the Argentinians around and they're not an easy team to play.

"We have played them twice this year and they've pushed us all the way and for them to score five tries against them is a pretty good effort."

New Zealand's Ben Smith and Charlie Faumuina
Charlie Faumuina (right) was impressed with Scotland's display against Argentina

New Zealander Vern Cotter took charge as Scotland team boss in the summer and is well known to All Blacks assistant Ian Foster from his time coaching in their homeland.

Foster said Cotter's teams "played a tough, physical game, but he gave them a licence to play as well" and he saw similarities in the way Scotland played against Argentina.

"They showed a desire to play and they are obviously feeling pretty good about that, so I guess all it has done is raise the bar for us a bit about the challenge that is coming on Saturday," he said.

However, Foster thought the All Blacks would benefit from a rare full week of preparation in what has been a hectic schedule.

"We know if we prepare well and play to our capabilities, we're a tough team to beat," he added.

"We also know that if we don't play as well as we can, we're beatable and we've certainly seen that this year.

"We certainly don't see Scotland as a second-tier nation but the goal is to prepare the same regardless of who we play.

"We are preparing to play an opposition that's at its peak, at its best, and we want to develop consistency."

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