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New Zealand Beats Scotland 51-22 in European Rugby Tour

Dan Carter kicked 21 points as world champion New Zealand started its European rugby tour with a 51-22 win over Scotland in Edinburgh.

The All Blacks scored six tries to Scotland’s three as the home side tried in vain to register a first win over New Zealand. The result stretched the visitors’ unbeaten run to 18 Tests.

Top-ranked New Zealand took an early lead, 30-year-old Carter slotting a penalty for offside. The visitors then paid for an error by Carter, whose pass was intercepted by Matt Scott. He switched the ball to Tim Visser, who marked his home debut with the opening try. Greig Laidlaw added the conversion.

New Zealand’s passing clicked into gear as Israel Dagg, Julian Savea, Cory Jane and Andrew Hore added tries to send the All Blacks into a 34-10 lead as Carter kicked 11 more points in the half. Laidlaw scored a penalty for the hosts, who are ranked ninth by the International Rugby Board.

Just before halftime the Scots laid siege to the All Blacks’ line and got a second try through Geoff Cross. Laidlaw’s conversion left the halftime score at 34-17.

Visser got a second try while the All Blacks’ Adam Thomson was sin-binned after illegal use of the feet at a ruck.

New Zealand soaked up home pressure, then added tries from Savea and Ben Smith, both converted by Carter, as the Scots ran out of momentum.

Yesterday, England routed Fiji 54-12, Argentina upset Wales 26-12, France beat Australia 33-6 and South Africa beat Ireland 16-12. Italy had a 28-23 win over Tonga.

The autumn series of matches in Europe will affect the seedings for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The International Rugby Board rankings as of Dec. 3 will be used to band the 12 automatic qualifiers in the 20-team tournament in England, with the first four placed at the top of the four five-team groups.

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