Mealamu: We won’t take Scotland lightly

Despite history being firmly on their side, hooker Keven Mealamu insists there is no danger of New Zealand underestimating Scotland when the teams square off at BT Murrayfield on Saturday. [more]

Mealamu: We won’t take Scotland lightly

Despite history being firmly on their side, hooker Keven Mealamu insists there is no danger of New Zealand underestimating Scotland when the teams square off at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.

Scotland have never beaten the All Blacks, who will host the British & Irish Lions in 2017, registering just two draws in 29 contests – the last of which was a 25-25 thriller in 1983.

Both squads will head to Edinburgh full of confidence after picking up impressive victories last weekend – New Zealand seeing off a stubborn England team 24-21 while Scotland triumphed 41-31 against Argentina.

And Mealamu admits that the northern hemisphere side’s performance in that match shows that they are more than capable of causing problems for the All Blacks.

“It was not a surprise but it did make us sit up and make sure that we look at them really well this week,” he told The Scotsman.

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“This is a top tier nation so anything is possible and we have definitely taken notice of the score at the weekend. We’ll make sure that we don’t leave any stones unturned in our preparation.

“They are a good side and have definitely improved over the last year, so we will make sure that we prepare really well this week – as we always do.

“Having a quick look at the way they played at the weekend, their ability to use the ball is a bit more expansive now.

“It is something we are seeing with a lot of the teams – that willingness to play. And when teams kick, it is a lot more contestable now – not just long and out.

“It makes for good rugby to watch and also good rugby to play in because you are always on edge. That willingness to open the game up is something we haven’t seen in games against Scotland before, so it looks really positive.”
 

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