International Rugby: Scotland v New Zealand Preview

The 'Scots are the next team up to face the mean All Black machine with the two sides set to lock horns at Murrayfield on Saturday the 18th of November.

The All Blacks will travel to Edinburgh for a date with a Scottish outfit that will need to up their defence game tenfold if they are to have any chance of winning this encounter. While both sides come into this one off the back of less than impressive defensive displays, the hosts for this weekend were much more porous allowing a spirited yet limited Samoan to remain in a game that the 'Men in Tartan' were absolutely dominating.

If the hosts are as charitable on defence this weekend, then they may be in for an extremely tough old afternoon out at Murrayfield.

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Scotland v New Zealand | Saturday 18 November | Murrayfield | 19:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Scotland 7/1 | Draw 33/1 | New Zealand 1/50
Scotland (+21.5) 9/10 | New Zealand (-21.5) 9/10


As impressive as the 'Scots were with ball-in-hand last week, one can't help but feel that their coach, Gregor Townsend, won't have be pleased with his sides' performance. The 'Men in Tartan' slipped a multitude of tackles during their 44-38 victory over the Pacific Islanders this past weekend. Even more worrying for Townsend was the lack of structure around the ruck with the Samoans scoring the bulk of their tries via a barnstorming break around the fringe. 

It wasn't all doom and gloom for the 'Scots, however, and there are quite a few positives to take from the game. Huw Jones was once again impeccable in the centres, while fly-half Finn Russell put in another mature display at fly-half, dictating play with his educated boot. Prop Darryl Marfo was solid on debut, while fellow debutant George Turner added a lot of explosiveness from the bench when he replaced starting hooker Stuart McInally, who had played an absolute blinder.

New Zealand

Like the Scots, the All Blacks were far from their best last week against the French as they failed to convert a plethora of opportunities whilst on the attack. This has become somewhat of a recurring theme for the world's number 1 ranked side, who have been nowhere near as clinical as they were in 2016.

Take nothing away from the All Black performance as it's never easy taking on France in their own backyard, and a 20 point win is a rather comfortable margin, but one just feel that this rather experimental New Zealand outfit is a few grades behind Hansen's first choice 23. A full strength All Black side would have had this second-string French outfit up against the ropes begging for the final whistle after only 20-minutes. And they would have had the game in the bag by the end of the first half.

Verdict: Scotland (+21.5) 9/10
They may have a leaky defence but the 'Scots have proved more than capable of scoring a plethora of points. I can see this being a high-scoring, end-to-end affair, but one in which the hosts lose by less than 20 points. 

Written by Darry Worthington for

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