As if the rugby gods were not already smiling on Hika Elliot though Keven Mealamu's suspension, his charmed existence continued during an impressive test rugby debut against Scotland last night.

The Hawke's Bay hooker, who sat in the stands the last time the All Blacks played at Murrayfield in 2008, finally earned his first cap as New Zealand thrashed the Scots 49-3.

Elliot was solid at the set piece, mobile around the field, staunch in defence and even his one glaring error had an upside - knocking on a Sonny Bill Williams pass inadvertently set the All Blacks first try in motion.

Scotland conceded a free kick for an early engagement and when the All Blacks opted for their own scrum feed a solid platform allowed Williams to bust the Scottish line and put Hosea Gear over under the posts.

Unsurprisingly the 23-year-old was satisfied with how events transpired since Mealamu was banned for a month on Tuesday for head butting England captain Lewis Moody, a punishment subsequently reduced to two weeks on appeal.

"I didn't know if I'd be starting or in the stands so there were mixed emotions," Elliot said.

"On one hand I was happy and delighted that I was getting a start but for Kevvy, I was feeling for the guy.

"He's a tough bloke, he's passionate about his rugby and he doesn't play with any malicious intentions."

Elliot was already familiar with the Scottish Rugby Union's emotive pre-match entertainment - floodlights out and a minute's silence to commemorate the end of World War 2, a lone piper playing on the roof of a stand and a rousing rendition of "Flower of Scotland".

But experiencing it out on the pitch was special.

"To run out into an atmosphere like that was unreal," he said.

And those first test anxieties soon settled.

"There was a few nerves to be honest but to get the first scrum, the first lineout and the first ball carry out of the way was good," he said.

Tony Woodcock, Brad Thorn and Richie McCaw - with 213 test appearances between them - talked Elliot through any worrying moments.

"My first or second ball carry Sonny gave me a pass and I knocked it on. They just said be tasked focus. The next task was the scrum, we scrummaged really well," he said.

Elliot made way for returning veteran Andrew Hore in the 61st minute and will only take fond memories from Edinburgh.

"We scored 49 points, we scored a few tries, our attack was awesome and our defence was up to the task," Elliot said.

"It was a performance we could really be proud of because the last couple of weeks we all know we've been under par.

- NZPA