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Blair pays tribute to All Blacks

Ally Hogg and John Barclay trudge off the Murrayfield pitch
Scotland were second best in every department

Captain Mike Blair admits Scotland were taught a lesson in finishing after being torn apart by an experimental New Zealand side in Edinburgh.

"We're really disappointed and frustrated," Blair told BBC Sport after the 32-6 mauling at Murrayfield.

"We had chances and we didn't take them. We created a few opportunities and put pressure on their 22.

"But they have some devastating finishers and were incredibly clinical when they got the opportunities."

Despite the visitors resting several big name players, Scotland never threatened to register a first ever win against the All Blacks.

Graham Henry's side scored four tries through Anthony Tuitavake, Piri Weepu, Richard Kahui and Anthony Boric as they got their northern hemisphere trip off to the perfect start.

Scots finishing frustrates Hadden

All Scotland could manage was two penalties from the reliable boot of Chris Paterson.

Head coach Frank Hadden was heartened by the effort put in by his side but was once again left to rue a number of basic errors and a lack of bite in attack.

"I would say it was a very frustrating afternoon for us," he told BBC Radio Scotland.

"In terms of cutting edge, we made nine line breaks and they made six but there is no doubting they had a touch of class when it came to finishing.

"We dominated the territory, we dominated possession and despite spending a lot of time in their 22 we just couldn't finish.

"That's a big concern for us and something we need to address but it's maybe not as straightforward as people think."

Despite huffing and puffing in the final third, Hadden thought the Scots deserved more from the game.

"It was a very tough match, very physical," he added. "Both sides worked extremely hard.

Henry happy with All Blacks defence

"I thought their defence was absolutely outstanding. You have to take your hat off to the quality of their defence and we certainly gave it a very good workout.

"But they caught us with a couple of sucker-punches at turnover time.

"It would have been nice if the ball had bounced kindly for Thom Evans and Sean Lamont when they were clear and New Zealand picked up a couple of bouncing balls.

"Sometimes it's a fine margin between success and failure and you need a bit of luck when you're playing the number one side in the world.

"We don't feel we're all that far away and we have an opportunity next week against South Africa to measure this young, developing side against the very best."

Henry was pleased with the All Blacks' defending but sees room for improvement ahead of their matches with Ireland, Wales and England.

"Scotland didn't score a try and we were under a lot of pressure," he told BBC Sport.

"The boys showed a lot of character to hang in because Scotland played very well at the breakdown.

"But we didn't retain the ball and we infringed too often, so there's a lot to work on."

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see also
Scotland 6-32 New Zealand
08 Nov 08 |  Scottish


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