Scotland 23-31 New Zealand: Autumn Nations Series – live reaction | Autumn Nations Series

Key events

Dalton Papali’i, the player of the match, talks to Amazon Prime. How did they win this one? “We trusted our leaders. We came in at halftime and said the green scrubbing was not going our way. We brought it, trusted our leaders and said to get back to basics. It was the carries and the cleanups that we focused on and we started to get the momentum back and went from there.

“I wasn’t really calm…we trusted our game-drivers like Jordie Barrett and ‘Beaudy’…we had to keep trusting each other.

“We knew it was going to be a grudge match… at half time we said it was a test match, we were getting the best of both teams… we knew the second half was going to be important and the boys succeeded.”

Full time! Scotland 23-31 New Zealand

This was not to be the case. Scotland can be immensely proud of this effort. But that slipped away in the final quarter as New Zealand honed their discipline and displayed their class. Both Rieko Ioane and TJ Perenara were important introductions to the All Blacks bench. The way Scotland competed defensively was superb, but it looked like they were running out of gas towards the end, such was the effort that was needed to keep New Zealand out (mostly) before that.

79 mins: Scottish attack. They are quickly penalized for not releasing the tackle after a dart from Hogg. New Zealand kicks for territory down… and this game is almost over.

76 mins: Try it! Scotland 23-31 New Zealand (Telea)

A superb offload from Rieko Ioane on contact gives Telea his second try. He dives into the corner. The home crowd wails during replays – they believe Telea knocked the ball over as he put it down. But the TMO is not interested. Barrett hits a great conversion through the sticks. The dream is over for Scotland, it seems, barring miracles in the final minutes.

New Zealand's Mark Telea scores his team's fourth try.
New Zealand’s Mark Telea scores his team’s fourth try. Photography: David Rogers/Getty Images

74 mins: Scotland are still at 14. New Zealand are on the attack and move to the Scottish 22. Can they hold out until they get back to 15? No they can’t…

72 minutes: New Zealand look to be the freshest and most determined team at the moment. It’s no surprise when you consider the amount of effort Scotland put into it… they really would have liked to be further ahead given how they controlled the game for so long. Another penalty comes for New Zealand, this time for Graham’s illegal competition on a ruck.

71 mins: Ewan Ashman is now for Scotland, for Fraser Brown.

71 mins: Scott Barrett receives treatment and says a member of the Scottish team hit him. He flees to continue his care. The TMO is probably taking a look at it, but no action is being taken.

70 minutes: Beauden Barrett goes for a grubber kick again. He jumps into Hogg’s hands and he tries to counter. Ben White then produces a superb angled kick to touch down the pitch for Scotland.

68 mins: WP Nel is penalized at the last scrum. All the momentum is with New Zealand, both on the scoreboard and on the penalty decisions. New Zealand discipline has certainly improved in this last quarter.

65 mins: Give it a try! Scotland 23-24 New Zealand (Scott Barrett)

Too much power and too many close range numbers for New Zealand. Scott Barrett crushes, Jordie Barrett converts. And the Scotsman Dempsey is in the bin for the next nine minutes. Scottish trail for the first time in a long time.

New Zealand's Scott Barrett crosses the line.
New Zealand’s Scott Barrett crosses the line. Photography: David Rogers/Getty Images

65 min: Yellow card for Scotland! Dempsey

To me it looks more like a tackle attempt than a deliberate forward but the referee and TMO agree it should be a yellow card for Dempsey of Scotland. Commenting, Andrew Mehrtens says he is “uncomfortable with this kind of penalty”. I think it’s hard to say conclusively from the reruns that it was deliberate.

64 mins: New Zealand works within a few meters. The referee looks at a possible deliberate forward from Dempsey… and it would be a yellow card.

63 mins: Penalty! Scotland 23-17 New Zealand

Jordie Barrett drills the penalty through the sticks. Incredibly, the first points scored by New Zealand from the first 10 minutes and their second try. There is a lot to do in this game and Scotland must keep playing their game, keep defending and try their luck when they come.

62 mins: Shannon Frizell, the flanker, is for New Zealand in place of Akira Ioane.

Meanwhile, Barrett goes for another cross shot for Clarke, but again it’s overshot. However the referee brings him back for a penalty at the scrum.

60 minutes: Scotland win a clean lineout ball in their bottom half and try to rumble it up. New Zealand organize well in defense and Codie Taylor helps win a scrimmage for the Al Blacks.

59 mins: Rieko Ioane darts through midfield as New Zealand try to inject some pace. Again, the Scottish defense is up to it and pushes him into a dead end.

58 mins: Perenara and Taylor left for New Zealand. Taukei’aho and Christie leave. Sutherland and Nel (for his 50th cap) for Scotland. Fagerson and Schoeman leave.

55 mins: Possession for New Zealand. Beauden Barrett attempts a cross shot in search of Caleb Clarke, but he flies wide down the All Blacks left.

54 mins: Penalty! Scotland 23-14 New Zealand (Russell)

New Zealand continue to sink penalties everywhere… But Scotland will want more of a buffer than the nine points they currently have.

53 mins: Scrum penalty for Scotland…and another chance for Russell to extend the lead. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Rieko Ioane replaces David Havili.

52 mins: New Zealand has refreshed its accessories. Newell and Bower arrive.

50 mins: Ah, the Scottish shirt numbers are ‘Doddie Weir tartan’, and meant to promote his fundraiser for MND.

48 mins: Hogg roars down the left wing and is shot inches away! He seems to have the perfect opportunity to unload from the ground on a teammate in a hurry, but for some reason he clings to the ball!

47 mins: Now Akira Ioane is isolated after being tackled and Ritchie’s jackalling is worth a penalty for Scotland. New Zealand have now conceded 11 penalties.

45 mins: There are worried faces among the New Zealand team in the stands. Either way, Dempsey is now pressed for a high tackle on Ardie Savea and the All Blacks can kick a lot of territory. It’s the first time in a long time that Scotland have caused themselves a problem and put the visitors ahead with an unnecessary error.

42 mins: Penalty! Scotland 20-14 New Zealand (Russell)

Van der Merwe runs another bullfight in New Zealand’s 22. An offside penalty eventually arrives and Russell hits it. A very positive start to the half for Townsend’s side.

41min: An email from Andy Flintoff:

“Hi Luke, I’m not a Scotland fan, but they’re playing well, forcing a few sloppy errors from New Zealand. However, I’m more agitated by the color of Scotland’s shirt numbers. Who has decided that the light numbers on the light shirt they’re wearing were a good thing? They’re impossible to see from a distance.

“Regards, Andy (not that one).”

Kick off the second half!

Can Scotland do it? Can they write history?

Any thoughts, Scotland fans? Email me.

Some halftime readings:

Half time! Scotland 17-14 New Zealand

40 mins: The ball from Scotland’s line-out is scruffy but they manage to keep the ball and swarm to the left… Van der Merwe is held back near the corner. Scotland are keeping the ball alive and almost ready for another try, but the All Blacks defense is holding on. A penalty for New Zealand closes the half.

Wow, that was fantastic. Scotland trailed 14-0 and now fought back to lead by three points at the break. The tempo was high throughout, there will be a lot of fatigue on both sides, so the substitute benches are going to matter a lot.

37 mins: Scotland win a scrum penalty after the free kick collapses. Russell blasts it on the ground, to hit it. Can Scotland get another chance at the try line before the break? They compete very, very well and have held off the latest wave of blackshirts with impressive physics and work rate.

35 mins: Ardie Savea, among others, gives New Zealand an attacking lead with a punishing carry down their left wing as they move ominously (from a Scottish perspective) close to the try line. Caleb Clarke, the winger, also has a shot and it takes a few defenders to stop him. But n°9 Finlay Christie inflates his lines and Scotland wins a scrum! It could be huge in the context of the game, if Scotland can get to the half-time whistle still ahead…

32 mins: Now, for the first time in a long time, it’s time for New Zealand to pick up some momentum and go through some attacking phases. A big driving maul gains a few yards and eventually they win a scrum just outside the Scottish 22.

30 mins: Penalty! Scotland 17-14 New Zealand (Russell)

More good things from Scotland. They earn a clean lineout ball and push for the line. There’s a massive, gynormous counter-push by the All Blacks pack and the maul goes wide…but Scotland keep the ball and have options either side. They nearly forced their way under the posts, but a desperate New Zealand defense kept them out. Another penalty comes and Russell cuts it easily in the middle. After a somewhat chaotic start, Scotland lead!

28 mins: Is this a second try for Graham?? It looks like it! … But no! His left boot cuts the whitewash just before he jumps up and writes it.

Still an excellent attack from the Scots anyway… and they had an advantage from the penalty spot.

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