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Sunday, October 24, 1999 Published at 20:33 GMT 21:33 UK


All Blacks end it for gutsy Scots

All Black power meets Scottish resolve

Scotland 18-30 New Zealand

New Zealand have confirmed their status as World Cup favourites with a four-try victory over Scotland in a rain-drenched quarter-final at Murrayfield.


The BBC's Nigel Starmer-Smith: "Scotland did Britain proud"
First-half tries for Tana Umaga (2) and Jeff Wilson effectively booked the All Blacks' place in the semi-finals by the interval. A typically barnstorming second-half effort from Jonah Lomu made sure.

But the gutsy Scots never gave up, fightly tenaciously throughout and holding the New Zealanders with nothing but sheer commitment for long periods of the match.

Home nations out

They were finally rewarded with consolation tries for Budge Poutney and Cameron Murray in the last 20 minutes.

Ultimately, they were outgunned by the phenomenally skilful New Zealanders, who were only kept from setting an even larger score by near-suicidal Scottish defence.


[ image: Jonah Lomu: An ever-present threat]
Jonah Lomu: An ever-present threat
The rain, which many pundits said would favour Scotland, only served to complicate their task as they slipped, slid and fumbled in the face of the New Zealanders' incisive attacks and deft tactical kicking.

The defeat ends home nation involvement in the World Cup and sets up a semi-final clash between the All Blacks and France next Sunday.

As the tie got underway, Scotland - the country - finally seemed to wake up to the existence of the Rugby World Cup and Murrayfield's capacity crowd seethed with expectation of a grand send-off for outgoing coach Jim Telfer.

The All Blacks' haka was drowned out by wild cheering and the home side took that passion with them into the opening exchanges, winning early rucks and poaching the visitors' lineout ball as the rain teemed down.

But it was New Zealand who opened the scoring with an Andrew Mehrtens penalty after six minutes.

Superb awareness

The sodden conditions produced a mass of handling errors by both sides. The All Blacks capitalised most, pressuring the Scottish backs and sending winger Jonah Lomu thundering in to tie up seven defenders under the posts.

Scrum-half Justin Marshall recycled and delivered to Christian Cullen. Under pressure, the centre flicked neatly on to Umaga, who fell over the line for his first try.


[ image: Scotland: Showed 100% commitment]
Scotland: Showed 100% commitment
Less than two minutes later they were back as Mehrtens showed superb awareness to exploit a gaping hole down the right hand side. He delivered a long pass to fullback Jeff Wilson, who flew through the Scottish defence for a touchdown in the corner. Mehrtens converted.

Scotland duly counter-attacked, their drive ending under the All Blacks' posts where Kenny Logan kicked a penalty for a scoreline of 17-3 on 20 minutes.

Mehrtens replied five minutes later to restore the New Zealanders' 17-point advantage.

The Scots refused to give up and their forwards made some useful forays into the opposition half, denying the visitors any score for a 15-minute period.

Scotland double

But they could not hold out forever, and on the stroke of halftime the All Blacks attacked again with Wilson flicking on to Cullen, who had a simple two-on-one to put Umaga in for his second.

Wilson missed the conversion as Mehrtens received treatment for a knock to the leg, giving the All Blacks a massive buffer of 22 points for the second half.


[ image: Gary Armstrong: Constantly poached at the All Blacks]
Gary Armstrong: Constantly poached at the All Blacks
The fly-half failed to re-emerge after the break and was replaced by Tony Brown. The news from the dressing room was that Mehrtens had been taken off as a precaution.

Scotland opened the scoring in the second half after a 10-minute period of frenetic pressure on the All Black line. Fly-half Gregor Townsend received the ball in space and thumped over a drop goal from 35m.

They then denied the ever-present threat of Lomu as Cameron Murray hauled him down and flanker Poutney forced him into a rare knock-on over the Scotland line.

Nonetheless, the big man was back to haunt them on 61 minutes, receiving a pass of supreme vision from flanker Josh Kronfeld to outpace the flailing home defence and score in the corner.

As the torrential rain came down, Scotland again flung themselves at the New Zealand line. The forwards battered and burrowed at one of the best defences in world rugby until, on 66 minutes, it finally gave with Poutney nipping over for the touchdown.

Logan converted to close the gap to 30-13, but the All Blacks came back with a vengeance to camp in the Scottish half.

Then, as the clock rolled over to 80 minutes, flanker Martin Leslie raced through the All Black line for an interception.

With Wilson bearing down, he threw an overhead pass to Cameron Murray, who sold an outrageous dummy to Lomu and trotted over for the score to finish the match with New Zealand under the posts.

Telfer may not have had his dream of a World Cup final to end his career, but he is likely to view this sterling effort with pride.

Teams:

Scotland:
Glen Metcalfe; Cameron Murray, Alan Tait, Jamie Mayer, Kenny Logan; Gregor Townsend, Gary Armstrong (capt); Gordon Simpson, Budge Pountney, Martin Leslie, Scott Murray, Doddie Weir, Paul Burnell, Gordon Bulloch, Tom Smith.
Replacements: James McLaren, Duncan Hodge, Bryan Redpath, Cameron Mather, Stuart Grimes, George Graham, Rob Russell

New Zealand:
Jeff Wilson; Tana Umaga, Christian Cullen, Alama Ieremia, Jonah Lomu; Andrew Mehrtens, Justin Marshall; Taine Randell (capt), Josh Kronfeld, Reuben Thorne, Robin Brooke, Norm Maxwell, Craig Dowd, Anton Oliver, Carl Hoeft
Replacements: Daryl Gibson, Tony Brown, Byron Kelleher, Andrew Blowers, Royce Willis or Ian Jones, Kees Meeuws, Mark Hammett

Referee: Ed Morrison (England)



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