EDINBURGH, Scotland — New Zealand upheld its unbeaten record against Scotland by winning at Murrayfield 22-17 on Saturday.
In injury time, Scotland star Stuart Hogg sliced through the All Blacks defense and hared toward the left corner flag. But 10 meters from the try-line, he was bundled out by Beauden Barrett and spilled the ball forward, ending the threat of beating New Zealand for the first time in 112 years.
“We had a lot of pressure in the second half, a lot of territory, and won a lot penalties close to the line, and to not get that final try was disappointing, but it’s a huge effort from our players and we can take a lot from that game,” Scotland coach Gregor Townsend said.
Barrett finished off a superb team try in the fourth quarter, during which the All Blacks played the entire time a man down.
Leading 15-8 and moments after Scotland scored its first try, center Sonny Bill Williams brilliantly offloaded as he was falling, to fullback Damian McKenzie, who incredibly anticipated the pass. He curved out and fed Barrett, who flew untouched to the line.
Barrett converted for 22-10 with about 12 minutes to go and with flanker Sam Cane in the sin-bin.
But as Cane returned, replacement prop Wyatt Crockett was yellow-carded, for another foul in defense.
Defending a Scotland scrum put-in in front of their posts, a seven-man All Blacks pack pushed Scotland back and earned a relieving penalty.
But in the 77th, the Scots showed their mettle and Hogg his class with a try out of nothing. Shoving the ball along the line, Hogg received it and put in a little grubber that bounced kindly for center Huw Jones to gather and score.
Russell converted to close the gap to five points, but the Scots ran out of room, and time.
“(Hogg) is a dangerous player,” All Blacks captain Kieran Read said. “Luckily, we’ve got a quick player, too, in Beauden Barrett. It was fantastic scrambling from both sides.”
The second half was all action after a first half strewn with errors which finished 3-3.
Nothing appeared to have changed when the new half began with New Zealand spilling a pass in its 22. The attacking chance ended for Scotland when All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock trapped the ruck ball on his try-line.
New Zealand’s attack finally flowed when wing Rieko Ioane took an up-and-under then his cut-out pass put hooker Codie Taylor in the corner.
Then McKenzie scored, after a lineout drive and a Williams grubber into the in-goal. It was 15-3, and should have been 20-3 heading to the last quarter, but Taylor was intercepted by Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell.
That started a siege in which Cane was sin-binned, and finished with Scotland lock Jonny Gray reaching out in a double tackle to score, and give Scotland renewed hope.