I DON’T think we can look back on what was a fantastic occasion at BT Murrayfield without mentioning the fantastic gesture made by the Scottish Rugby Union to honour one of their own, Doddie Weir.

It was an emotional moment when Dod made his entrance with the match ball, with sons Hamish, Angus and Ben, and an outstanding piece of work by the SRU to support Doddie’s cause by having the logo on the pitch.

Out and about yesterday, people were talking about Doddie being centre stage, so credit where it is due to everyone behind the scenes at Murrayfield who made it happen. It set the scene for what turned out to be a monumental game of rugby.

Read more: Beaten Scots aim to keep improving after day of high emotion at Murrayfield ends in narrow defeat to All Blacks

I’m not easily pleased when Scotland win, never mind when we lose. But I have nothing but praise and admiration for the guys who really did take it to the New Zealand, and rattled them to such an extent, that the mighty All Blacks spent the last 10 minutes just trying to run the clock down.

I said it last week, that if Scotland keep producing performances like this, Murrayfield will be sold out regardless of the opposition, and tickets for the bigger games will be like gold dust. Because, even in defeat, this was the kind of rugby you want to watch and be entertained by; fast, direct, on the edge, high-tempo running rugby. It was brilliant to watch, and it so nearly paid off.

We coughed up a couple of chances, which probably cost us overall in the match context. But Gregor Townsend has that team playing with real ambition, not to survive, or the just live with the opposition, but to go for the win, from the off. Kicking to the corner when you could have gone for points shows they honestly think they can score tries.

They are brimming with self-belief. The first-half flew past and to be 3-3 against the world champions, having had most of the play and possession, was an unexpected position to be in. But it was totally deserved.

Read more: Doddie Weir will always be a Scotland hero

I knew we’d be at our most vulnerable just after half-time; the All Blacks really went for the throat in those 10 minutes after the turnaround, because that is the way they play. The get briefed at the interval, and come out using all the weapons they have in their box to pummel and beat teams in that window by getting the scoreboard ticking over with 12 or 15 quick points.

They did it with Scotland. But having been knocked backwards, we responded brilliantly and were still in the game right to the final whistle.

Stuart Hogg was a deserving man of the match. The bigger the stage, the more he wants to perform, and Saturday against the All Blacks was an amazing display.

But, he was utilised to the max by Gregor, as an out-and-out strike threat, coming into the line early, and, where he could be most damaging, in centre-field territory. Every time he got the ball, you could see people edge forward in their seats. There was an anticipation that he could do something, or make something happen.

There are not too many in world rugby who can stimulate that kind of excitement, but Stuart is one of them. At times Scotland were almost playing with two 10s, with Finn Russell – who is looking more assured as a match manager – and Hoggy either playing side by side, or, taking up positions on either side of a scrum or breakdown.

Read more: Beaten Scots aim to keep improving after day of high emotion at Murrayfield ends in narrow defeat to All Blacks

That meant the All Blacks had to do a lot of thinking – and maybe over-thinking – about how they were going to handle a very dangerous Scotland back division, where again, Huw Jones showed what a good finisher he is with another score.

Up front, we weren’t overawed either. A bunch of these guys were either uncapped or had a handful of appearances before the Autumn Tests. But we look to have unearthed some real international players.

Stuart McInally had another sound match, while I was impressed with Cornell du Preez at eight. He had a good game as a carrier, against Kieran Read, the All Blacks captain, and didn’t look out of place in the slightest, amazing considering the disparity between where those two are in their international careers.

All that helped generate an amazing atmosphere. I think you need to go back to the 90s to remember a Scotland crowd being that noisy for 80 minutes, and showing that much support and passion for the national team. It was magic. And long may it continue