“There is 100 years of unfinished business” – Gregor Townsend

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Scotland remains the only top-tier rugby nation never to have beaten the All Blacks since they first met on the 1905-06 tour and had to settle for a 17-22 loss in their last clash in 2017.

The closest Scotland has got is a 0-0 draw in 1964 and a 25-25 draw in 1983.

Coach Gregor Townsend said: "I believe that in the 2017 game, we didn't have the level of confidence in the first half to win that game. We were playing brilliant rugby in the first half, and it was three-all.

"We should have scored more points in the first half. We were chasing after it in the last 10 or 15 minutes of the game and we almost won, but it's a reminder that we have to take opportunities when we are playing really well and we are playing against on of the best teams."

When asked if there was unfinished business against New Zealand, Townsend said: "There is 100 years of unfinished business."

Who he chooses at first five-eighths after first-choice Adam Hastings was injured in Scotland's 28-12 win over Fiji on Saturday could play a big part in Scottish hopes of winning.

"We have a lot to think about with Adam picking up an injury, potentially two injuries. That was a big knock he got – not on the head, it was whiplash. We will have to see what that means for him with stand-down time, whether it is six days or 12 days, and we will also have to assess his knee.

Two possible players are the experienced Finn Russell and the inexperienced Northampton player Fin Smith, a former England Under-20 representative who qualifies to play for Scotland through his grandfather.

"He [Smith] has not played for Scotland before. If he is in the mix he would have to make a decision to committing to one of the two teams he is qualified for. He did really on Friday night, man of the match, [for Northampton] so if he decided to commit to Scotland it would great for depth to have other options. But the last time I spoke to him his focus was on his club during this period," Townsend said.

Russell, who has 62 caps, has had a strained relationship with Townsend and was left out of the Scotland squad because he hadn't shown 'form and consistency' while playing for Racing.

But Townsend said he would have no issues if he decided to call him up.

"He is in the mix. He missed out on selection, like a number of guys, so he would be in the mix for any changes we have to make there, if we have to make a change."


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