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Monday, 19 November, 2018

Balancing defence and attack critical for Scotland

All Blacks nearing end of gruelling year

Stuart Hogg and his Scotland teammates have had cause to celebrate
1 of 1

Autumn international
BBC2 & BT Sport 1, 5.15pm Saturday

A year that has featured a hard-fought Lions series and another Rugby Championship cakewalk is nearing an end for New Zealand and Scotland will be hoping the world champions are winding down as they prepare to visit Murrayfield.

Since the start of October the All Blacks have scraped past South Africa by one point, lost to Australia and recorded back-to-back wins in France, while Scotland look to have continued their rise with a win over Samoa.

That victory over the Samoans neatly crystallises the conundrum punters face in this contest. Scotland's feted attack scored 44 points, but leaked 38 against Samoa, a team beaten 78-0 by New Zealand at the start of the summer. 

If the Scots are as open as they were in that game the All Blacks could run riot, but to guard against that Scotland will have to tighten up, but that would run counter to coach Gregor Townsend's insistence that his team should be the fastest out there.

New Zealand are 20-point favourites, a margin they have covered against Australia and South Africa this year, while they hit the bar in France last Saturday.

Scotland rarely collapse but a 61-21 defeat to England in the Six Nations this year is a warning. The hosts should have a say but it may be a case of the All Blacks doing enough without running away with it.

Recommendation
Scotland +21
1pt Evs Betway


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Scotland's feted attack scored 44 points, but leaked 38 against Samoa, a team beaten 78-0 by New Zealand at the start of the summer
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