New Zealand expect Scotland backlash from 2017 Murrayfield encounter

All Blacks winger Caleb Clarke says his team is expecting a Scottish backlash on Sunday after the last Murrayfield meeting between the two sides ended in heartbreak for the hosts.

Scotland's Stuart Hogg (right) is tackled by the All Blacks' Beauden Barrett late in the 2017 Murrayfield game to be denied a try
Scotland's Stuart Hogg (right) is tackled by the All Blacks' Beauden Barrett late in the 2017 Murrayfield game to be denied a try

While Scotland have managed two draws since the sides first locked horns 117 years ago – in January 1964 and November 1983 – the rest of those games have all ended in wins for the world’s most successful rugby nation. It is a 31 match unbeaten run for the All Blacks.

However, it has not always been plain sailing and Clarke revealed that head coach Ian Foster reminded the squad earlier this week of how close Scotland came to securing a shock win back in 2017 when it took a sensational cover tackle in injury time to stop Stuart Hogg squaring the match with a conversion which would have won it to come.

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“We touched on it at the start of the week when Fozzy mentioned how it could have gone either way, and it was Beauden Barrett stopping a try in the corner which saved the day,” said Clarke. “So, we know how much Scotland will be hurting from that and we know how much motivation they will have as a team coming into this game. We’re building towards being ready for that throughout this week.”

“It will be a tough old match on all parts of the field,” he added. “We know their threats out wide and they are really good at getting over the ball in contact, so I think it is going to be a full squad effort to take out an opponent like Scotland.”

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