Scotland take on New Zealand in Murrayfield in the second of their Autumn Internationals. But what’s the history of the two teams? And who’s likely to win this time round?
These sides have met 30 times in the past with New Zealand winning 28 of them. Scotland have never beaten the All Blacks, with the closest they’ve come being the two draws achieved in 1964 and 1983. Since then the Kiwis have achieved 18 consecutive victories over the Scots, and this trend looks likely to continue with the latest projections giving New Zealand 86% chance of winning, with the most likely outcome being a healthy 18 point victory to the All Blacks.
Their first ever meeting came on the New Zealand tour of Britain back in 1905 and ended with a 12-7 NZ win. Matches were fairly respectable for the Scots throughout history until the mid 90s when the fixture began to become even more one sided. Things reached a head when, for some reason in 2000, the Scots decided to tour New Zealand. Unsurprisingly, they were handed two of their heaviest ever defeats and have never ventured back. Since then they have rarely been within 30 points of New Zealand come full time. However, their last fixture in 2014 was the closest finish in 26 years, so is there any hope for the Scots?
Probably not. Scotland have improved enormously over the previous 4 years, and are scoring tries at a rate rarely seen in Murrayfield (at least by Scotland). However, their defence in last weeks match against Samoa was woeful and the All Blacks will need no further invitation to score, and score heavily, should they repeat this.
Nevertheless, the All Blacks have shown some slight chinks in recent matches. In games against the Lions, Australia and South Africa they have shown some very un-New Zealand like tendancies and passed up guaranteed try scoring opportunities. It is unclear whether this is through a desire to experiment, being 2 years out from the World Cup, or through genuine mistakes at this stage but, should they have one of these ‘off’ days and Scotland tighten up their defence then … well … perhaps Scotland won’t lose by as much.