Calcutta Cup: ‘Both teams are going to field their best performance’ – Ben Healy

Stand-off believes recent successes for Scotland against England will count for nothing next Saturday

Ben Healy believes Scotland and England will both produce their best performances of the Six Nations when they clash at Murrayfield on Saturday. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Ben Healy believes Scotland and England will both produce their best performances of the Six Nations when they clash at Murrayfield on Saturday. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

THE CALCUTTA CUP is guaranteed to bring the best out of both Scotland and England, according to fly-half Ben Healy, who warned Steve Borthwick’s side: “We know exactly what is coming.”

The historic rivals go head-to-head at Murrayfield on Saturday in a fixture that the Scots have dominated in recent years.

Scotland go into the game on the back of three consecutive wins over their neighbours, while World Cup bronze medallists England have only mustered one victory in the last six meetings.


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However, Borthwick’s side head north in better form, having won their opening two Six Nations fixtures against Italy and Wales, while Scotland defeated the Welsh in Cardiff before suffering an agonising defeat to France.

But Edinburgh stand-off Healy, an unused substitute in Scotland’s first two games, expects nothing less than the best version of both teams to show up in Edinburgh.

“We know no matter how either side is going in the Six Nations or previously, come Calcutta Cup both teams are going to field their best performance, or one of, in the Six Nations out of the five games,” he said.

“England are going through a bit of a transition phase, but we know exactly what’s coming.”

Healy was one of seven members of the Scotland squad to be released for Edinburgh duty during the fallow week and kicked seven points in a scrappy 24-19 URC victory over Zebre in Parma on Friday.

A return to his club offered a chance to get away from the international scene following the disappointment of a defeat to France that was overshadowed by a controversial TMO decision that denied the Scots a match-winning late try.

However, Healy refuses to dwell on any sense of injustice.

“The decision at the end is one thing but I think it shouldn’t have come down to that from our point of view,” Healy said.

“We performed really well and should’ve put more points on the board when we were on top. It shouldn’t have come down to that decision for us.

“The decision is something separate, you can’t control that, but given the performance, a little bit disappointed that we needed a try in the last play of the game.”

 

 

Healy and his Edinburgh colleagues will return to Scotland camp with a win under their belt, but not a convincing one.

The capital side struggled to get their attack to click in an error-strewn display in Italy, where they trailed until the 68th minute.

Edinburgh’s pack were to thank for the victory after getting on top in the set piece and with their close-quarters power game, prop Boan Venter and hooker Dave Cherry scoring either side of a penalty try in the second half to turn the tide in the visitors’ favour.

But a back division marshalled by Healy – the URC’s leading points scorer with 90 – struggled to trouble the Zebre defence despite dominating possession and territory.

“They were putting a lot of pressure on us, bringing a lot of line speed and piling into the ruck,” Healy explained.

“We’ll need to have a look at that and how we can deal with that line speed and breakdown pressure. I would say that attack has a lot to do with feel for each other and cohesiveness and we’ve only trained together as a group for the last week.

“That’s no excuse, we’ve been playing with each other all season, but with certain boys coming in and out of [Scotland] camp … the defence and kicking game is a little bit different, you probably don’t need as much cohesiveness, but in attack you need to all be singing off the same hymn sheet. It’s a little bit down to us being in and out I would say.”

 

 

The Six Nations is not having as disruptive an effect on the URC this season, with only two league games taking place while the annual tournament takes place.

But with internationals coming and going and a month-and-a-half having passed since Edinburgh’s last league fixture against Glasgow, former Munster man Healy thinks a degree of rustiness was to be expected.

“I wouldn’t call [the Six Nations] a distraction; I would say it’s a lack of cohesiveness,” Healy said.

“This is my first period with the club here during the Six Nations but from where I come from, we struggle at this time every single year for that very issue.

“It’s nowhere near the performance or the standards we set for ourselves. But, given the circumstances, to come away with four points, we’ll take it.”


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3 Comments

  1. I see we’ve signed Carmichael, 6’11’ !! And Scottish qualified.

    Let’s hope he’s the piece that’s missing in the pack, certainly going to make a strong contribution to the lineout !

  2. Is there any news on Kinghorn? Will he be back for Saturday, we were told 2 games. Can’t find an update anywhere.

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