Have Scotland ever beaten New Zealand? Five times All Blacks came so close to being slayed

Close but no cigar: We look back at five times Scotland have pushed the All Blacks to the brink ...

New Zealand's Wayne Smith (right) breaks away with the ball during the 25-25 draw with Scotland in 1983.
New Zealand's Wayne Smith (right) breaks away with the ball during the 25-25 draw with Scotland in 1983.

2017: Scotland 17-22 New Zealand

The last meeting of the sides was a thunderous affair which is widely regarded by Scotland as one that got away. Gregor Townsend reflected last week that the home side took too long to believe they could win. They went in at the turn level at 3-3 but their play deserved more than an exchange of penalties between Finn Russell and Beauden Barrett. Second-half tries from Codie Taylor and Damian McKenzie put the All Blacks in the driving seat before Jonny Gray forced his way over for Scotland. Barrett’s try edged New Zealand further ahead but Scotland came roaring back with a score from Huw Jones. Stuart Hogg looked set to go over in the corner in the last-minute for a score-levelling try only to be denied by a brilliant Barrett tackle.

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1990: New Zealand 21-18 Scotland

Scotland outscored the All Blacks two tries to one at Eden Park but were ultimately undone by the boot of Grant Fox and the nefarious antics of Mike Brewer. Three months after winning the Grand Slam, the Scots headed to New Zealand for a two-Test tour. They lost the first 31-16 in Dunedin but should have won the second in Auckland. Tries from Tony Stanger and debutant Alex Moore and two penalties and two conversions from Gavin Hastings gave them a 18-12 lead at half-time. But Fox kicked three second-half penalties to steal the game away from the tourists, the penultimate one shrouded in controversy as it was awarded after Brewer appeared from an offside position to tackle Hastings.

1983: Scotland 25-25 New Zealand

The Scots were on the wrong side of the try-count this time but had a late pot at goal to win the match at Murrayfield. Peter Dods’ conversion attempt from out on the touchline went agonisingly wide and the spoils were shared. ‘Lucky’ Jim Pollok scored Scotland’s only try on a day John Rutherford dropped two goals and the excellent Dods kicked five penalties. The All Blacks’ tries came from Jock Hobbs and two from Bernie Fraser.

1964: Scotland 0-0 New Zealand

New Zealand had already beaten Ireland, Wales and England and were looking for a tour grand slam when they rocked up at Murrayfield in January 1964. But the home side were obstinate in defence, with All Blacks great Colin Meads knocked out by one mighty Scotland tackle from Pringle Fisher. The Murrayfield crowd chanted ‘We want Scotland’ at the end but the players were too exhausted to come out for a lap of honour.

1954: Scotland 0-3 New Zealand

In the midst of a barren run in which 17 consecutive matches were lost, Scotland almost produced an almighty shock at Murrayfield. Home captain Douglas Elliot, returning from injury, played heroically but New Zealand’s Bob Scott kicked a penalty early in the second half to win the game.