Scotland 16-24 New Zealand

By Andy BurkeBBC Scotland at Murrayfield
Highlights: Scotland 16-24 New Zealand
Scotland (10) 16
Tries: Seymour Pens: Laidlaw 3 Con: Laidlaw
New Zealand (14) 24
Tries: Vito, Thrush Pens: Carter 3, Slade Con: Slade

Scotland ran world champions New Zealand close but ultimately succumbed to defeat at Murrayfield.

The All Blacks were some way off their best despite the presence of the returning Dan Carter.

Scotland sensed a famous upset after Tommy Seymour's try cancelled out Victor Vito's opener.

Greig Laidlaw missed a penalty that would have put the hosts ahead before Jeremy Thrush's try ended the hopes of a first Scotland win over New Zealand.

But the performance will give head coach Vern Cotter more encouragement as he puts his stamp on the Scotland team.

They face Tonga at Rugby Park in Kilmarnock next Saturday in the last of their autumn internationals.

Carter, the world record points scorer starting his first Test in a year, pulled an early kick wide after the Scots were penalised for holding on in the ruck.

Number eight Vito opener the scoring when he found space wide on the left flank, showed great pace and power to break through a couple of tackles and scored in the corner. Carter failed with the conversion.

As was the case in last week's win over Argentina, Scotland hit back immediately after conceding the first try.

A loose pass in midfield from All Blacks captain Richie McCaw was intercepted by Seymour, who had the freedom of Murrayfield to coast over for the score, which Laidlaw converted.

Perhaps as a result of making so many changes to the starting line-up following their victory over England at Twickenham, New Zealand lacked their normal cohesion, with several handling errors, one of which was almost picked off by Seymour for another interception.

Carter finally found his kicking range with two successful penalties to put New Zealand four points ahead, and, although Laidlaw responded with three points of his own, Carter slotted another penalty on half-time to make it 14-10.

Breaks from Stuart Hogg and Sean Maitland put New Zealand on the back foot early in the second period, forcing them to stray offside. Laidlaw kicked the resulting penalty to reduce the gap to one point.

The Scots had to endure a period of extended pressure, but the All Blacks failed to create clear scoring chances.

If Scotland had been guilty of kicking away possession in the first half, it was a complete reversal in the second, with Cotter's men showing ambition - on occasion too much ambition - by running the ball from their own 22.

Colin Slade, moved from wing to fly-half after Carter was replaced by Julian Savea, and Laidlaw traded penalties.

The captain was given a straightforward chance to kick Scotland into the lead with 10 minutes remaining, but he sliced his penalty just wide of the posts.

New Zealand put the game beyond reach moments later. A succession of pick-and-drives around the fringes took them to the brink of the tryline, and lock Thrush ploughed through the tired defence. Slade converted the try.

It would be a stretch to suggest that the Scots deserved victory, but it may just feel like one that got away.

Scotland: S Hogg, S Maitland, M Bennett, A Dunbar, T Seymour, F Russell, G Laidlaw (capt); A Dickinson, R Ford, E Murray, R Gray, H Gray, R Harley, B Cowan, A Ashe

Replacements: F Brown, G Reid, G Cross, D Denton, J Beattie, C Cusiter, D Weir, S Lamont

New Zealand: B Smith, C Slade, M Fekitoa, Ryan Crotty, C Piutau, D Carter, TJ Perenara; J Moody, J Parsons, C Faumuina, J Thrush, D Bird, R McCaw (capt), S Cane, V Vito

Replacements: D Coles, W Crockett, B Franks, L Romano, L Messam, A Pulu, S B Williams, J Savea

Referee: Romain Poite (France)

Touch judges: John Lacey (Ireland) & Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)

Scotland players face down the New Zealand Haka
Scottish fans sang their national anthem loudly during the All Blacks' pre-match haka
Victor Vito scores a try for New Zealand against Scotland
Victor Vito shows strength to score the opening try
Tommy Seymour celebrates after scoring a try for Scotland against New Zealand
Scotland's Tommy Seymour crossed to boost the large home crowd
Greig Laidlaw misses a penalty for Scotland against New Zealand
Scotland's hopes of victory effectively ended when Greig Laidlaw missed his final penalty
Jeremy Thrush scores a try for New Zealand against Scotland
Jeremy Thrush touched down late on to seal victory for the All Blacks

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