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Scotland chase first win over All Blacks

Andy Robinson is eagerly anticipating the moment his side walk out to face the Haka today, seeking to become the first Scotland team to emerge victorious over New Zealand.

Ahead of the 28th meeting between Scotland and the All Blacks, Robinson appeared calm and relaxed, but also ready for battle commencing at Murrayfield.

The Scotland head coach said: “I'm simmering. I'm very confident about the team, there's a belief among the side, but I'm also realistic that we're going up against the very best side in the world. There's a lot we have to do in this game just to stand toe-to-toe with them, just to match them.

“There's an understanding of what is in front of them and now we've got to wait until quarter-past-five until it all kicks off.”

Scotland, who are undefeated in their last four Tests, last avoided defeat against the All Blacks in 1983, drawing 25-25.

While conscious of the statistics, Robinson is focused on the performance of his side.

“It's always important to celebrate history, but I focus mainly on us,” he said.

“There's always talk about if this could happen, that could happen — the main thing for me is what we do on the pitch.

“Our ability to move the ball and get the ball into wider channels is important,” he added.

“It's really having a balance and being able to change our tactics.”

Mike Blair will captain Scotland from scrum-half in one of five changes to the starting XV from the second Test victory over Argentina in June.

Euan Murray comes in at tight-head prop, Richie Gray and Richie Vernon will make their first Scotland starts at second row and number eight respectively, while Rory Lamont takes his place on the wing.

All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu will miss the matches with Scotland and Ireland, but will be permitted to return against Wales on November 28, after his initial four-week ban, for an apparent headbutt to England captain Lewis Moody in last Saturday's win at Twickenham, was halved by the International Rugby Board on appeal.

Belfast Telegraph


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