Henry pleased but sweats on Ellis, Ice

New Zealand coach Graham Henry was satisfied with their performance against Scotland but was concerned for the fitness of some key players.

An All Blacks side featuring three debutants and 12 changes from last week’s Bledisloe Cup run-on side whipped Scotland 32-6 at Murrayfield. The scoreline could have been more emphatic had they not butchered a number of good scoring opportunities.

Defensively they were superb and it was this facet of play that Henry choose to highlight.

“I was pretty happy,” he said. “It was a good win to start the tour and there was some very good defence at times when we were under the cosh. But we turned over too much ball and gave away too many penalties to be fully satsified.

“Scotland took us by surprise with the adventure they showed and probably should have scored couple of tries, so it was a good effort in defence.”

However, there are concerns around the ongoing involvement of scrumhalf Andy Ellis, who took a blow to the ribs and had to be replaced. Isaia Toeava, who impressed at fullback, was felled by a knee to the shoulder just before half-time and was forced off the field.

Reports suggest his condition is improving but the Blacks’ medical staff will treat him conservatively. Mils Muliaina will join the squad on Sunday after the birth of his child and is expected to play a role in their Test against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

Scotland coach Frank Hadden admitted it had been a “frustrating afternoon.”

“We played some good stuff today and created a lot of opportunities but there is no denying that when it came to finishing New Zealand showed their class and their defence was absolutely outstanding.”