New Zealand repeated their 1978 grand slam success with a hard-fought victory over Scotland at Murrayfield.
The day began as a damage-limitation exercise for the Scots but thanks to their brave resistance – they tackled courageously throughout – the All Blacks failed to post the expected cricket score.
Scotland’s fighting spirit was never going to be enough to prevent New Zealand from successfully completing their grand slam tour of the home nations, however, and the class of Graham Henry’s side was evident.
A brace of tries from the prolific Rico Gear and one each for Nick Evans and Sione Lauaki put the All Blacks in the driving seat, while substitute Simon Webster’s late touchdown gave Scotland some consolation.
New Zealand opened their account with an eighth-minute try from winger Gear, who collected a neat chip through from scrum-half Piri Weepu, and Evans rounded off a sweeping move down the pitch for the second shortly after.
The pace of the game slowed in the second quarter but New Zealand were shaken out of their lethargy with Joe Rokocoko taking Evans’ crossfield kick and feeding Chris Jack, who juggled with the ball until Lauaki arrived to take possession and crash over.
Gear crossed once again in the 72nd minute after accepting a pass from substitute Jason Eaton and racing home, making up for an early error which denied him a certain try.
But Scotland, who had controlled long spells of the second half, had not given up and crossed with a minute left on the clock through Webster.