Scotland believe they’ve offered a blueprint of how to beat the All Blacks, although admit they’re not good enough to do it yet themselves.
Captain Greig Laidlaw felt the world champions were rattled at times but didn’t have the Test nous to avoid a 24-16 loss at a soldout Murrayfield.
The bustling Scots fed off New Zealand mistakes and rarely relented, meaning there was no chance of continuing a recent trend of heavy losses when the teams met.
“We were making inroads. I don’t know if there was anxiety in the ranks but there was certainly mistakes creeping into their game,” Laidlaw said.
“There were a few loose passes and we forced a few turnovers from our tackles.
“They certainly knew they were in a game, I would say that.”
After landing his first four shots of the Test, Laidlaw was disappointed his only miss was a penalty with 10 minutes remaining which would have put his side in front.
He believed success would have been just reward for their attacking mindset, which became more prominent as the Test wore on.
Laidlaw is sure New Zealand coach Vern Cotter has them heading in the right direction with a ball-in-hand style.
“We got rewards from it. We put their defence under a lot of stress for large parts of the second half.”
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said Scotland were clearly a team on the rise and he knew the Test would be a major challenge, even though he named an under-strength line-up.
Cotter wasn’t motivated by the tourists’ selection, which was regarded by many pundits in Scotland as a snub.
“They’ve got their own strategy and what they do is really their business,” Cotter said.
“They’ve got a World Cup next year and he’s looking at players for next year. I don’t think it was a lack of respect.”