At Murrayfield, the miracle did not happen. Beaten by Australia (15-16) and victorious over the Fijians (28-12) during this month of November, the Scots could not bring down the All Blacks on Sunday. They led from the 31st to the 66th and believed in the historic feat, but they were not able to end a long series of defeats started in 1905 against this opponent. Thus, of the great oval nations, Scotland remains the only one to have never brought down New Zealand.
Quickly put into orbit with four tries scored in less than a quarter of an hour (14-14), two on each side, while the All Blacks had attacked hard (4th by Taukei’aho and 7th by Telea), this match was evenly balanced (penalty tries for Scotland in the 12th minute, then individual achievement by winger Graham in the 14th minute). Then dropped a little intensity to regain its good tempo in the last ten minutes, with a penalty goal signed Finn Russell (31st), the forgotten of the Caledonian selection returned to grace and who added two other shots (43rd, 54th ) to propel his team in the lead, 23-14, with a small break in advance.
The acceleration of the All Blacks in the last quarter of an hour
Three times (29th, 40th, 48th), the Scots almost failed to register their third try but the law of Murphy, the Irish referee of this match, was essential. Jamie Ritchie’s teammates could only blame themselves, confusing speed and haste in front of the Kiwi in-goal. They also came up against a solid all black defense. At the hour mark, the moment remained historic: was Scotland going to put an end, in front of the cameras of the L’Équipe channel, to a too long series of 31 matches without a win against the All Blacks?
Indolent, clumsy, visibly little concerned by this meeting, the New Zealanders – after having atomized the Welsh (23-55) last Saturday – waited for the last quarter of an hour to get moving. Thanks to the Barrett brothers, with a try from Scott in the 66th, goal (63rd) and conversion from Jordie, then a double from Talea (75th), the All Blacks regained the advantage (23-31) while they benefited from a numerical superiority (yellow card against Dempsey, 65th). The valiant Scots did not know how to regain control and ended up bowing after having hoped for a lot.