Record breaker: Doug Howlett touches down to make New Zealand try-scoring history

EDINBURGH, 23 September - New Zealand are guaranteed to top Pool C and are safely through to the world cup quarter-finals following a 40-0 win over Scotland at Murrayfield.

The All Blacks were well in control throughout the match for the six-tries-to-none victory, but coach Graham Henry would have been unhappy with an error-ridden display.

On at least five occasions New Zealand botched gilt-edged try-scoring opportunities by spilling the ball with the line virtually open.

However, they were good enough to convert some of their pressure into points in the face of typically gritty Scotland defence.

Wing Doug Howlett scored a try in each half, the first in the 15th minute making him the highest try scorer in All Blacks history with 47.

The second, six minutes from full-time, took him past Rory Underwood as the second most prolific try-scorer in world cups with 12.

After leading 20-0 at the break the All Blacks showed their attacking intent straight away with two slashing breaks upfield within four minutes. The first resulted in a penalty, which Carter slotted from out wide.

The second raid had New Zealand camped down on the Scotland line for 10 minutes, where they set scrum after scrum, but somehow Scotland managed to keep the highly vaunted attack out.

There were further frustrations when inside centre Luke McAlister wasted another seemingly certain New Zealand try when he chose to hang onto the ball rather than feeding his unmarked outside runner.

In the 60th minute, big second row Ali Williams finally eased the frustrations when he secured the bonus-point try by demonstrating great strength to lunge over in the corner for a fine individual effort.

Carter was in for the best try of the match two minutes later when he swooped on a loose ball near halfway and accelerated past the defence to cross untouched under the posts.

The All Blacks scrum was dominant, often shunting the Scottish pack back metres at a time.

The result means Scotland must draw with or beat Italy on Saturday in Saint-Etienne to grab a quarter-final spot.

RNS mp/gs/mr