All Blacks continue dominance against Scotland

By Wynne Gray

There were changes in global governments but no alteration in the world rugby order, not at Murrayfield this morning (NZT) as the All Blacks overcame Scotland 32-6 to continue their 103 years of dominance against their hosts.

There was no change in Wayne Barnes' curious world of refereeing either as he perplexed most of the 51,511 crowd with a first half of curious decision-making. Barnes has not been on the All Blacks radar since Cardiff at the World Cup last year when he was in charge for their infamous quarterfinal defeat.

The wait was not worth it although at least the result improved.

The delay in allowing the All Blacks and Barnes to intersect again has seethed away for some time and gathered another chapter in infamy today as Barnes sinbinned Nick de Luca and Anthony Boric for incidents that at worst might have cost their sides penalties.

While he was mega-vigilant on those incidents, Barnes was nowhere near as conclusive in his judgements about the scrum with some interminable rests eking out huge passages of time.

The All Blacks defence was outstanding on a night when Scotland had more linebreaks, dominated territory and possession yet could only look at two penalty successes from Chris Paterson when they trudged off the park after another All Black defeat.

The visitors scored five tries including several from turnovers like Anthony Tuitavake's early try from Stephen Donald crossfield bomb and Richard Kahui's scamper to the line just after halftime which gave the tourists a handy buffer which the Scots were never going to bridge.

If there was a downside it was injuries suffered by replacement halfback Andy Ellis and fullback Isaia Toeava.

Ellis suffered some rib cartilage damage and was eventually replaced by Daniel Carter, the world's premier five eighths, who slotted in at halfback where he used his secondary school experience to fill for the last 10 minutes. Toeava damaged his shoulder and was replaced at halftime with the medical staff unsure about the extent of both players' damage.

Coach Graham Henry complimented his new-look side on their defence which held the Scots out all game while he thought they had lost too much possession in contact and also conceded far too many penalties.

"We are happy and it was a good win to start the tour of the UK," he said.

Assistant coach Wayne Smith said there was some slick stuff from the backline and they showed great courage but ideally, they would want to get a great deal more action than they saw.

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