All Blacks coach realistic despite record win

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 June, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 June, 2000, 12:00am

New Zealand could go into the Second Test against Scotland in Auckland this Saturday without new cap Ron Cribb. The Canterbury number eight injured his shoulder in the All Blacks' 69-20 win over Scotland in Dunedin and is being assessed ahead of the team selection expected to be announced in Auckland on Wednesday.

New Zealand coach Wayne Smith is taking a realistic view of the Test in Dunedin, despite his side's record breaking margin of victory over the Scots. 'I was surprised by the margin of the score, especially as Scotland had so much pressure in the first half. It was our counter-attacking that brought the scores.

'I don't feel comfortable or elated. I think it will be a tough encounter at the weekend. Fortunes can turn quickly in rugby. Scotland will learn from the harsh experience of defeat. Sport is like that. We respect Scotland and can certainly vouch for the physicality of their game. History, too, has shown that Scotland are capable of hitting back in the second Test.

'We will be approaching the match on Saturday as a full Test and not as a dress rehearsal for the Tri-nations,' emphasised Smith, whose selection process will be made all the more difficult by the availability of Kees Meeuws and Mark Robinson. 'We will want to improve on a number of areas but overall I'm happy with the players. They've got great talent and enthusiasm.'