Dan Carter inspires New Zealand to victory over Scotland
Last Updated: 11/11/12 5:39pm
Israel Dagg rounds the defence to score for New Zealand
New Zealand held off a brave Scottish challenge relatively comfortably to win the opening Test of their autumn tour 51-22 at Murrayfield.
Scotand did score their first try against the All Blacks in four Tests, since Simon Webster's score in 2005, and then crossed for two more.
But the world champions never looked in danger of losing for the first time in 19 Tests and cruised clear in the closing stages.
Dan Carter was the inspiration behind so much of the All Blacks' attacking play but it was his boot which edged them ahead after a fast start forced Scotland to deliberately slow the ball on the floor.
It was all New Zealand for the opening 12 minutes but Scotland grabbed the lead with an opportunist try as Matt Scott intercepted a short pass from Carter in midfield and Tim Visser was on his shoulder to race in unopposed, with Greig Laidlaw converting for a 7-3 lead.
Carter quickly made amends as he burst through the defence twice before putting Israel Dagg in to score and converting for a 10-7 lead.
Carter and Laidlaw exchanged further penalties before New Zealand scored two quickfire tries, both beautifully created with fast hands and fine attacking lines that left the Scots fatally short of numbers out wide.
Julian Savea went in at one corner and Corey Jane crossed in the other, before Andrew Hore powered over from close range and almost in the blink of an eye, New Zealand led 34-10.
But Scotland did have the last word in the half as after Matt Scott was held up over the line, moments later Geoff Cross did manage to dive in low from close range, with Laidlaw converting for a 17-34 half-time scoreline.
Adam Thompson saw yellow for foul play off the ball and a clever boot from Laidlaw through a ruck set up Visser to dive in for his second try.
But the last half hour belonged to New Zealand as Carter kicked a penalty and then set up two more scores.
The first was created with a well-weighted crossfield kick which bounced up perfectly for the rampaging Savea.
Then with five minutes left, in the same dizzying movement Carter shrugged off a tackle, sidestepped and set up Ben Smith to score, a fitting finale to a virtuoso display from the fly-half.