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Carter majesty rips Scots apart

The Miracle Man paid but a fleeting visit to Murrayfield, sprinkling some of the magic dust that inspired Celtic to such heights in midweek, but this time to no lasting avail.

Scotland's early second-half rally to close to within a dozen points was a deceptive interlude in a black-shirted surge to victory. There were times when the All Blacks flowed across the turf like an irresistible tide coming to shore.

Scotland could do no more, in fact, did no more, during those periods than stand back and watch the water lap around their feet, drowning while waving them through. Three tries in an eight-minute blitz just before half-time effectively settled the game.

New Zealand have lost none of their aura, and retained all of their power and majesty. The only blight on an upbeat afternoon was a stamping incident involving Adam Thompson.

The All Blacks flanker was shown a yellow card when he should have been sent off for making contact with the head of Scotland's Alasdair Strokosch early in the second half. He will be cited and probably banned.

At the heart of New Zealand's all-consuming performance was fly-half Dan Carter.

He had 21 points to his name, helped by a flawless conversion return on his side's six tries, but it was the effortless grace of his play that took the breath away.

Where others look hurried, Carter is poised, the master of all that he surveys. Carter had a hand in five of the six tries his side scored.

There was a good bit to admire in Scotland's play: their punch and drive near the line; the rage of lock, Richie Gray; the occasional thunder of David Denton when he came on and the double-try haul of wing Tim Visser, who took his tally to four in three Tests.

Visser opened the try-scoring in the 13th minute and sent hopes soaring. The same was true when he touched down for his second in the 50th minute. The elation did not last long.

Carter set up New Zealand's first try for Israel Dagg in the 19th minute with fine footwork and featured among a clutch of ball handlers for Savea's first on the half-hour. Tries from Cory Jane and Andrew Hore followed quickly thereafter.

Scotland prop Geoff Cross burrowed through on the stroke of half-time. New Zealand, though, finished much the stronger with tries from Julian Savea and Ben Smith.

The All Blacks lost full-back Dagg to a bruised lower back, but are otherwise in good shape as they head to Italy. It will take something extraordinary to stop them achieving a clean sweep. Again. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent