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Scots need Murrayfield miracle


SCOTLAND will be hoping to emulate Celtic's giant-killing exploits when they take on the mighty New Zealand on Sunday.

A spirited display by Australia stopped the all-conquering All-Blacks and saw them draw 18-all last month in Brisbane to end the Kiwis' 16-game winning sequence, and the Scots will need a miracle to stop them from returning to winning ways at Murrayfield.

Scotland have never beaten New Zealand in 28 attempts and coach Andy Robinson's comments about the world champions this week were filled with superlatives.

Yet he expressed confidence his ninth-ranked side can upset opponents who haven't been beaten in a European tour match since 2002.

Robinson cited Ireland's heroics during their second test in June, when a last-minute drop goal from Dan Carter foiled Declan Kidney's men, as a source of encouragement.

You've got to be able to go toe-to-toe with them. Ireland got very close," Robinson said. "They scored early and were able to stay in the game; outstanding defence from Ireland on that day."

There was controversy this week when a New Zealand rugby columnist described Scotland as the "cavemen of world rugby".

All Blacks attack coach Ian Foster, responding to claims by Chris Rattue, a rugby league writer in the New Zealand Herald, that Scotland are no longer good enough to face the All Blacks, said he believes the historical links between the countries make this an important meeting in the sporting calendar.

"We have massive respect for Scottish rugby," Foster said.

"It has a great history and this is my first tour here and I can't wait. Playing at Murrayfield is going to be fantastic."