If you ever wonder where the saying ” A Brave Scott” comes from, then go and look at the England v Scotland match. Scotland was on the day just brilliant in most aspects of the game.
They held England set pieces, stole a few line outs and had a better game management than their host. Their defence was something special to watch and always look dangerous with ball in hand.
At the end they were able to beat England 11-6 to get their hands back on the Calcutta Cup and open their Six Nations campaign with an important win.
The game started with some urgency from both side showing they want to play with ball in hand. England showed early danger signs when they were with ball in hand in Scotland half but it was Scotland that put the first points on the board with a penalty.
This gave them an early 3-0 lead.
Scotland was doing all the play early on with England only left to defend which they did. Scotland had a few opportunities in the first 20 minutes but just could not get pass the defence of England.
Scotland with the ball in hands started to make more inroads and after a series of penalties against England the referee had enough and send Vunipola off for a high tackle.
With Scotland camping in England twenty two it was Van De Merwe who had a lot to do to get over the line for the first try of the match.
With no space out wide he stepped inside and took a few English players with him to get over the line. This gave Scotland a 8-0 lead.
England hit back with a penalty from Farrell to put their first points on the board.
England started to get back into the game and they forced a few penalties which Farrell was happy to kick over. The TMO came in for a trip by Scotland playmaker Russell which saw him going to the bin for ten minutes
Farrell got his second penalty over to reduce the lead to only 8-6. That was also the halftime score which left Scotland a very tricky first 9 minutes of the second half without Russell.
The second half started with Scotland doing all the play and keeping England pinned down in their half of the field. They kept the ball in hand and played with it till the return of Russell.
Russell just return when Scotland got a penalty which he happily slotted over to extend their lead to 11-6.
The rets of the second half was mostly Scotland playing the smarter rugby and putting England under enormous pressure which force the defending champions to make mistakes.
England just could not get their attacking play right and too many key players making crucial wrong decisions on attack. It was almost if England was leaderless at some stages of the match.
Scotland hold their nerve and hold on to that lead and took a famous win to take back the Calcutta Cup. It was the first time in 38 years that Scotland could manage a win at Twickenham.
Game management is key at this level and Scotland showed that with England having to go back and look at their poor discipline which cost them the game.
England: Penalties – Owen Farrell(2)
Scotland: Tries – Duhan Van der Merwe Penalties – Finn Russell(2)