One of the more positive national teams to come away from this summer’s tour of the Southern Hemisphere, Scotland will test their impressive form against the best side in International rugby. This Sunday sees the Scots take to the field in the nation’s capital to face the superstars from New Zealand and hope to remain intact once the Hakka has ended and the electrifying rugby has ceased its deadly destruction.
Reasons to back Scotland
Scotland head into the encounter on a three-game unbeaten streak, besting Australia in a tight encounter on their home patch followed by a convincing win against Fiji and a sloppy victory over Samoa, all-the-while providing some optimism for the success-starved Scottish fans.
Scotland coach, Andy Robinson, blooded some promising young talent over the summer and during the ill-fated wooden spoon Six Nations Championships, with the likes of Tim Visser, Greig Laidlaw, David Denton, Alsidair Storkosch and the ever improving Richie Gray all breaking into the team on a regular basis.
Scotland have also finally found a flourishing and traditional 9/10 combination with the experienced Mike Blair at 9 and the reliable Laidlaw at 10. The Scots are well balanced across the field, they have experience mixed with youth, but the new look Scotland have yet to be tested in a way New Zealand only know how.
Reasons to back New Zealand
The All Blacks march into the match after an unbeaten Rugby Championship campaign, with new and experienced talent ready to prove themselves against the rough and ready Northern Hemisphere teams and show why they are the World Champions. New Zealand have put more than twenty points past Scotland in the last seven matches between the two sides, most recently a 3-49 win in 2010 at Murrayfield. The All Blacks and Scotland have faced off against one another 28 times in total, the All Blacks taking 26 victories with there being 2 drawn contests. Scotland have never managed to beat New Zealand dating back to 1905, and that’s unlikely to change this weekend.
New Zealand are a better team from 1 – 15, with pace, power and skill in abundance, and they are a team of superstars built on solid foundations dating back to before the Rugby World Cup. After being held to a draw in their most recent outing by Australia, Scotland face something of a sleeping dragon on Sunday and as a Scotsman myself, let’s just hope for the most part that it doesn’t wake-up until the final whistle, otherwise we could be in for a long afternoon and another high scoring one-sided depressing contest.
Prediction: New Zealand by 20
By Alexander McLeman