Calcutta Cup: clinical Scotland put England to the sword

Duhan van der Merwe hat-trick sets-up a fourth consecutive Calcutta Cup win for Gregor Townsend's side

Duhan van der Merwe scored a hat-trick for Scotland against England at Murrayfield. Image: Craig Watson
Duhan van der Merwe scored a hat-trick for Scotland against England at Murrayfield. Image: Craig Watson

Scotland 30

England 21

DAVID BARNES @ Murrayfield

A DUHAN VAN DER MERWE hat-trick set Scotland on course for a fourth consecutive win over England – for the first time since 1972 and only the second time ever – but perhaps the most noteworthy thing about this result is that it was achieved with none of the drama we have come to expect from Gregor Townsend’s side in recent outings.

The home side started slowly, falling 10 points behind before firing a shot, but looked comfortable thereafter. They didn’t dominate England but took points when they were available to move decisively ahead and then keep their opponents at arm’s length. Crucially, they stayed focussed when the game began to drift towards more of a chess match midway through the second half. They were helped by a lack of cohesion and composure from England in the second half.

Van der Merwe has now moved up to 26 tries for Scotland (in only 37 matches), just one behind record-holder Stuart Hogg, and it surely won’t be long until he moves ahead of the retired full-back, who reached his total in 100 matches. The big winger will no doubt fancy doing it before the end of this Six Nations campaign, with two away matches still to come against Italy in a fortnight’s time then Ireland a week later.

Six Nations: Calcutta Cup: Scotland v England live blog …

Calcutta Cup: Gregor Townsend delivers disappointing update on Darcy Graham’s injury

U20s 6N: slow starting Scotland lose again against England

Scotland gave away an early scrum free-kick and England opted to pack down again, then streaked home straight off Ben Earl‘s No 8 pick-up, with an excellent dummy run from Ollie Lawrence, and sharp hands from Danny Care, Henry Slade and Elliot Daly leaving Scotland’s disjointed defence clutching at shadows as George Furbank swan-dived over the line unchallenged, setting up an easy conversion for George Ford.

To add to Scotland’s early woes, Zander Fagerson was removed form the field for an HIA before the game had restarted, with replacement tight-head Elliot Millar-Mills being penalised for collapsing at the next scrum just two minutes later. And Scotland found themselves under even more pressure at the next scrum after that but escaped with a free-kick against England for pushing early.

It was all England at this stage and Ford extended his team’s scoreboard advantage when Millar-Mills was penalised for illegally slowing ball down at a ruck.

Ragged Scotland were then beaten in the air to three high balls, failed to control possession at two line-outs and conceded a penalty on the deck, helping England to continue to grow in confidence – before a first-phase moment of magic swung momentum right back the home team’s way.

Scotland – bolstered by the return of Fagerson – finally managed to produce a solid scrum, Sione Tuipulotu‘s tip pass sent Huw Jones clear on halfway, and when he was eventually hunted down by Furbank and Tommy Freeman just inside the English 22,van der Merwe was on hand to collect the pop off the deck then power past three tacklers on his way to the line. Finn Russell added the tricky conversion from wide on the right.

The recovery was complete on the half hour mark when Ford fired a short pass which ricocheted of Furbank and straight into Jones’ hands, who sent van der Merwe on a sprint up the left touchline, outstripping the cover defence for a 60-yard run-in. The big South African might have thought about veering in field but chose to dive over in the corner, flattening the corner flag in the process  it was no bother to Russell, who stroked home the extra points anyway.

The stand-off then added an offside penalty from in front of the posts to his and his team’s account, but that was promptly cancelled out by a rather scruffy looking drop-goal from Ford, which seemed to settle English nerves after a frantic 10 minutes.



An excellent toe-poke into the corner from Russell put England under serious pressure at the start of the second half, but some excellent scavenging of the breakdown from Sam Underhill meant Scotland came away from that spell empty handed.

Not to worry. They were soon back on the offensive, with Cam Redpath – on for the inured Tuipulotu – tidying up loose ball, turning on a six-pence and splitting England wide open, before providing the quick recycle for Russell to send an inch-perfect cross-kick to send van der Merwe in for his hat-trick, which Russell again converted.

Ford stroked home another ruck penalty to keep England just about in touch, which was cancelled out by an offside penalty from Russell just before the hour mark, but it looked for a short while like another mid second half slump could be on the cards as both teams fell into a cautious kicking-battle.

However, an excellent rip to steal possession by Ewan Ashman energised the home team and Millar-Mills – back on for the final quarter – redeemed himself after his earlier hiccups with a penalty won over the tackled man, which allowed Russell to stretch the gaps to 14 points with 15 minutes left to play.

That cushion started to look important when Immanuel Feyi-Waboso ran a great line to catch out Scotland’s half asleep defence, sweeping pastRedpath for his first international try just a few minute after coming off the bench for only his second cap. However, Fin Smith‘s conversion came off the left post meaning that Scotland still had more than a two-score advantage heading into the final 10 minutes.

Scotland finished the match with 14 men after van der Merwe was yellow-carded for a tip-tackle on Freeman, and the No 11 was announced as man-of-the-match as he trotted from the pitch. As he was congratulated by the non-playing squad members, Ashman won another crucial turnover on his own 22 to kill off any chance England might have harboured of an unlikely comeback win.


Teams –

Scotland: B Kinghorn; K Steyn, H Jones, S Tuipulotu (C Redpath 41, B Healy 72-75), D van der Merwe; F Russell, B White (G Horne 62); P Schoeman (A Hepburn 61), G Turner (E Ashman 52), Z Fagerson (E Millar-Mills 6-17, 61), G Gilchrist (S Skinner 67), S Cummings, J Ritchie (A Christie 52), R Darge, J Dempsey.

England: G Furbank; T Freeman, H Slade (I Feyi-Waboso 61), O Lawrence, E Daly; G Ford ( F Smith 61), D Care (B Spencer 47); E Genge (J Marler 61), J George (T Dan 67), D Cole (W Stuart, 55), M Itoje, O Chessum, E Roots (G Martin 47), S Underhill (C Cunningham-South 55), B Earl.

Referee: Andrew Brace


Scorers –

Scotland: Tries: van der Merwe 3; Con: Russell 3; Pen: Russell 3.

England: Tries: Furbank, Feyi-Waboso; Con: Ford; Pen: Ford; DG: Ford

Scoring sequence (Scotland first): 0-5; 0-7; 0-10; 5-10; 7-10 12-10; 14-10; 17-10; 17-13 (h-t) 22-13; 24-13; 24-16; 27-16; 30-16.


Yellow cards –

Scotland: van der Merwe (78 mins)



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U20s 6N: slow starting Scotland lose again against England

About David Barnes 3911 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Some general musings on the match:
    – Finn looks to be settling into the captaincy role; his decisions about taking points on offer were pretty much spot on and interesting to see him chatting with the ref just before 2nd half kick-off. His more relaxed manner seems to work loads better than Ritchie’s approach and his form doesn’t seem to be suffering
    – would like to know if the co-captaincy is more akin to having a skipper and a pack-leader as was termed in my playing days
    – we don’t seem to be competing so much at rucks and this maybe ties in with Finn’s previous comments about players not listening to instruction not to compete. Against strong packs, have we decided better to have more in defence than trying to compete?
    – if above is correct, then do we need both Darge and Ritchie in the back row, two breakdown specialists? Darge in much better form and would rather Christie started and possibly Bradbury on bench to add some grunt rather than more openside -like replacement
    – pack seemed to have more dog about it on Saturday, maybe just hyped up as we were against England but need more of that attitude for every match regardless of opposition
    – a lot made of English handling errors but Scotland every bit as guilty. We maul England up the pitch 30-40 metres and then (Ashman?) drop the ball, just dumb
    – Ireland looked really slick at times on Saturday and Italy no pushover, we just have to maintain discipline and intensity throughout our next 2 games
    – not an unqualified supporter of GT but I imagine stats show he is our most successful coach in a long time/ever? His selections can seem bizarre or misguided but if he leaves, we need a top coach to achieve at least as much

    Have to win in Rome and then just play as if lives depended on the outcome in Dublin.

  2. Question is will Scottish Rugby celebrate Saturdays victory as they did in 2006. Those of you that may remember a t-shirt sold at the time with a picture of the team celebrating and the score printed on the back. Still have mine. Though I think its time we have a new one!! Those at Murrayfield if you are reading this….

    • Long shot against probably the best six nations team since England of early 2000’s. But regardless of what happens in Italy (who are improving) we have a Triple Crown to go for against Ireland on the last day. We would need every bounce going our way & Finn to be at his game breaking best, and perhaps even a refereeing decision or 2 going out way for once, but here is hoping we can make a game of it & take some silverware

  3. Just watched the BBC highlights show, and it was very good, Ugo, JB and Warns all providing excellent insights.

    Unfortunately from that analysis, Ireland look Streets ahead, despite seeming to struggle a little v Wales. An now nervous for that one. italy also look pretty good, should be an interesting finale.

    My money is on us !! Come on Scotland!!!

  4. By the way, just looked at the second English try, which comes from a poor kick reception by us, but look at the restart kick, England are a full yard off side at the point the ball is struck.

    Also noticed this a couple of times in other games … Why is this never picked up?

  5. Its tough looking at the table after todays game in France. After a chance to come away with a bonus point in Wales and that try against the french the mind can only dream had there been different outcomes in those two games.

    Italy are certainly a different beast this time around.The visit to Italy provides a perfect opportunity to put in all the learning we have conjoured up through this champsionship. Its going to be some game. Question is will the english keep the Irish under a bonus point to give us any chance of going across the sea and win a possible championship. If not we will still be on for the triple crown and even a second place.

    In the meantime camp is going to be on a super charged buzz…

  6. A good win, we played it well and took our chances. Very good defence work, despite Redpath dozing when Feyi-Waboso shot past. (Didn’t see where Kinghorn was in defence…).
    I thought Ritchie had a good game, always in the thick of it and disrupting the English carries. Scott Cummings is turning into a very good player and Gilchrist looks better at 4, he was putting himself about in the loose yesterday.
    It is good to see the growing strength on the bench, we have some most promising players there in Redpath, Christie and our young front rows, there didn’t look to be much drop off at all when the replacements came on.
    I think Healy is underrated, he is a more useful and competent 10 than quite a few we have had in the past.
    We will have to change up a gear v Ireland though, they looked pretty formidable yesterday.

    • I think Kinghorn rightly stayed on the outside as there was an England player to be covered there….its was Redpath that left too large a gap between him and Kinghorn. It showed that Redpath still needs to improve defensive positioning at test level…he definitely adds something in attack though imo..he takes weight off of Russell.
      I think Healy and Hastings are the best replacement 10s we have got at test level

      Aside..although it was a good win…we didn’t play well for large chunks of the match. Coughed up too much ball from basic handling errors….which is a constant source of frustration from the entire GT tenure.

      We will have to improve considerably to seriously challenge for the 6N.

      Imo this has been a poor 6N….the skills execution has been lacking from all sides including Ireland. Their win v Wales ..impressive result as it was…Wales were particularly awful. I don’t think anyone has played great rugby throughout …just in splashes.

    • I wouldn’t be too hard on Redpath there. He was the only player that was able to defend the fringe at that point (Darge was still trying to extricate himself from the breakdown).

      It was a well timed run by the English winger who did well to spot the opportunity.

      The origin of that try was the failure to deal with a pretty run of the mill restart – yet again!!!

      • Your last sentence is depressing not only because ‘yet again’ as you say but that I recall how any years ago I bemoaned that very fact and still we seem to cough up opportunity after we have just put points on the board.

  7. A strange game in some ways for me. We never had control of the game for long periods and outwith the 3 tries we had very few periods on the attack and lacked much fluency. However we scored 3 tries and seemed to score almost every time we got in their 22. Winning whilst not playing at your best and taking the few chances you have is the sign of a good side. Something Ireland often do.

    I thought the English rush defence put us under a lot of pressure and so you have to give them some credit for our lack of fluency. We got out of jail a few times when getting hammered well behind the gain line but managed to survive. Also there were a few horrific attempted grubbers from Finn that hit English players and again we did well to tidy up. A lot of people saying this is a poor English side – I disagree strongly – they are a developing side and remember almost got to the World Cup final last year.

    I think in a game where fluency was hard to find from both sides, Scotland should take credit for an excellent defensive performance (outwith the 2 tries) and solid set piece performance. Finns kicking from the tee at 100% obviously outatanding but our kicking game outwith this was a bit patchy. So this was a good win against a good side and its good to be talking about areas for improvement after a win. We should not take the achievement of 4 wins in a row against England, last achieved in the 19th century, lightly.

    • Mind you the WC draw did help and as someone mentioned before the game they may have won 8 out of the last 9 [well 10 now] but look at the teams they beat, and in many cases not by much.

  8. My comments today do not relate to how happy I am that Scotland outfoxed the ‘Auld Enemy’, or the way they ‘smashed and grabbed’ 3 tries by the man of the match. My remarks relate to the disgusting behaviour I witnessed from a large section of the so called ‘sporting Scots fans’ and their attitude towards the English team, their back room staff, the officiating team and the English spectators. This started when the opponents arrived to de-bus. The fans were vitriolic in their hatred of the English team. Foul language could be heard everywhere, cat calls, jeering and booing was quite openly displayed. At the National Anthems, booing, whistling and jeering could be heard quite clearly when ‘God save the King’, was sung. Fortunately, lots of Scots joined in the anthem to bolster the English voices and drown out the so called patriots. When England scored their brilliantly worked first try, as always I applaud good play. Others around me, booed, jeered and shouted expletives at the English team and the referee.
    Throughout the game this attitude persisted and it was not only men who were shouting expletives. Many women round me were also guilty.
    Can I remind everyone that prior to our fabulous game starting the announcer urges everyone to show ‘RESPECT!’ I include for your information what we should be doing and not going down the route of spectators of the round ball game!
    ‘The sport emphasizes respect for the game, opponents, teammates, coaches, the public, and referees.’

    • Very well said. There is a small minority of supposed fans who really let the side down at most games but against the English there is worrying level of animosity towards players and fans. I sit in the South Stand and against France we were well surrounded by French supporters and the atmosphere was very convivial. However against England – totally different atmosphere. Sad.

      • I’m sick to death of the jingoistic minority who are most probably those anonymous and cowardly key board warriors who offer nothing but abuse to anyone who sadly cares to listen.
        Unfortunately these pathetic individuals are now breeding the new foul mouthed army you witnessed yesterday.

        I’m one of those old school rugger lads in his mid 60’s who was brought up by my coaches & parents or respect the opposition. The English team are human beings who are family men with children, how do these children feel with the abuse there dads are receiving?
        The abuse toward England players is not new, and unfortunately there families who are in the stadium have to listen and stay silent. Disgusting, and all you abusive idiots, shame on you.
        The Scottish rugby nation deserve better, the game of rugby deserves better, the SRU should call it out and finger these idiots and ban them from Murrayfield 😡

    • JG very well said. You might find that most of those ‘supporters’ dont know know one end of a rug y ball from another.
      And it’s only going to get worse with season tickets being discontinued in favour of more corporate types – if the rumours sweeping Murrayfield are true.

    • Yes. It is inappropriate to shout any kind of vitriol towards opposition fans at what is essentially a family viewed sport. I don’t want to hear that when I go to watch a sporting occasion. People are lowering themselves to do that.

      That said there has been plenty vitriol aimed directly at Scottish people from England for a long, long time…and so it is isn’t very surprising some people choose to serve some back.

      I would never condone any derogatory language or behaviors…but equally I wouldn’t sing their anthem in a million years under any circumstances. I’d draw the line squarely there.

    • Absolutely agree with the vast majority of what you said. Rugby has a certain value set and mutual respect, the English team and fans deserve to come up to Edinburgh and be respected and welcomed the same as any other team would. I live in Ireland and watched it in my local bar and a crowd of Englishmen happened to be in town and watched it at the table next to me, we had some great banter throughout and some great conversations. No hatred but friendship over a great game enjoying a few pints. That is what rugby is all about. I will draw the line at singing God Save The King though, never in a million years and sorry not for me. But I would absolutely respect it as England’s anthem and afford them that courtesy.

  9. I said in a previous post that I was worried about this game, and after the first 20 min i was worried my fears were coming true.

    Thankfully the boys stayed calm and worked thier way into the game. Teams of yesteryear would have wilted after that poor start, thankfully this squad have really matured into a good Test squad.

    Our front row deserve huge credit, they fronted up and despite a few scrum pens against them they played well.

    Huw Jones assists for the first 2 tries were world class, and what an impact Redpath and Christie had when they came on.

    Now onto Rome…..

  10. A comfortable enough win in the end and while tries usually win matches and dominate the chat they often result of hard graft and defensive pressure across the field. The pack really stood up after the early scrums and overall the backs did well in the less obvious defensive chores – White, Russel and Steyn who I thought was outstanding.

  11. Thought our backs won it for us. Van Der Merwe was realistic when he gave credit to his team-mates. Finn impresses with his maturity from game to game. Only one jackel from us throughout raises questions, although the English pack were dominant so maybe ours did just enough in the end. I don’t think fullback is Kinghorn’s position. Not yet nailed on. He was more positive than usual on the high ball but just never seems to be in the right place to tackle. Still see him as a 2nd 5/8th or on the wing. White’s line kicking was useful, great tackler, but his box kicking was poor and service still slow. I think starting Horne against Ireland would be the one selection decision that would make us unbeatable.

    • Old saying forwards decode who wins matches and the backs by how much couldn’t be more true than yesterday. Our forwards dominated in the loose, stopping England on gain line and topping the dominant tackles list.
      Breakdown steals were 3:3 and it looked like last 20 we chose not compete and stayed at on out feet.
      Lineout stats were pretty even as was scrum over the course if game.
      Penalty could was the only stat really in England favours.

    • I think Kinghorn rightly stayed on the outside as there was an England player to be covered there….its was Redpath that left too large a gap between him and Kinghorn. It showed that Redpath still needs to improve defensive positioning at test level…he definitely adds something in attack though imo..he takes weight off of Russell.
      I think Healy and Hastings are the best replacement 10s we have got at test level

      We will have to improve considerably to seriously challenge.

    • Kinghorn is, at best, a backs replacement should we really need to go 6-2 bench split imo…I just don’t think he has nailed down any 1st 15 spot.

    • Maybe Blair not quite 100% fit? Hopefully another 2 weeks and he’ll be there. I thought his attitude and approach under the high ball were good, but the English kicking was very good and contestable. On the attacking front he really had no opportunity, but you could see he was looking for it. 8/10

      • Apparently he was not 100% fit.

        I think he won only one contested kick all day. He looked OK when fielding uncontested kicks, so I wonder if he was compensating for or shielding his injury.

        This was probably the wrong game to bring him back for with England always very likely to kick to contest a lot. We got away with it though.

        Playing Italy will suit him better I imagine. I’d think carefully before starting him against Ireland though.

      • He is blessed with genuine gas, can kick well has good hands having played a lot at 10 in his development. GT probably hasnt done him any favours shifting him between positions. If he can lnuckle down now and learn the 15 craft I think he could be an outstanding player. What is he 6’3″? He has to learn to dominate the high ball. He has far more going for him than Steward imo, and people talk about him (Steward) as a potential Lion. I think the world is BK’s oyster if he just nails down the basics which he is surely talented enough to do.

      • If he hasn’t ‘nailed the basics’ at age 27 and how many games of rugby??….He should be an accomplished player at test level by now given the amount he has played…and yet he still lacks many basic skills in defense and lacks composure in many situations. He is listed as 236lbs 6′ 4″. How is he not winning every high ball he contests at FB? I wouldn’t select him…Id have Rowe, Smith, Paterson all ahead of him.

  12. Chaotic game. Thrilling throughout. All the countless handling errors from both sides added to the drama. First 20 minutes were horrific. First try settled us down and confidence grew from there. Far from perfect performance but utterly committed and once we hit the front before half time I never thought we’d lose. We had the answer to every question England asked. Congratulations to all involved, especially Gregor Townsend. High time he got credit for the job he’s done over the years. OK, we haven’t cracked the World Cup but we’re capable of going toe to toe with any side in the World (except perhaps the Irish) . We haven’t been able to say that often over years. Cummins had his best game in a Scotland shirt yesterday. Redpath and Ashman also. And Christie must start in Rome. Onwards and upwards

    • The entire 6N thus far has been poor in basic skills execution and handling error rate. Its really felt like a post RWC hangover overall. Ireland are strolling through the 6N despite not playing great either.
      France Wales and Italy have been awful.

  13. Apparently it took South Africa about 20 games to perfect their defensive system and England had only had 2 going into this game. I thought we were well prepared to cope with it and patient in waiting for opportunities to exploit when they got it wrong.

    The game wasn’t a thing of beauty, except for the sight of van der Merwe scampering over the line and Russell splitting the posts and kicking that pass, but who cares, it was a solid win.

    Hopefully those who went off injured will be available for our visit to Rome and I would be inclined to start Christie at 6 for that game. Ritchie did nothing wrong, but Christie offers more. Redpath was good, apart from going to sleep for England’s try, but I’d be inclined to keep the back line as it is, injury permitting. There’s a summer tour for experimenting.

    Wales put up a fight in Dublin, so maybe we can learn something from that.

    • There is nothing to learn from Ireland v Wales that would benefit us. Wales were for most of the match awful and average for their purple patch. It was a poor game imo. Ireland butchered quite a few chances and didn’t have to play very well to win.

  14. You know what we weren’t perfect today but we played alright and got the job done.

    We are significantly better team than England just now and the boys delivered a convincing victory. More so we have demolished the auld enemy in recent times and if it had not been for storm Ciara I firmly believe they would have been winless against us since 2017. Frankly none of us can remember the last time we had a streak like this!

    Ireland have an unbelievable set up and incomparable government support compared to the other home nations. Comparing us to them is ridiculous and there is no shame in coming second to those lads.

    I’m so sick of people bleating about the SRU, or the coach, or the individual players. Stand up and be counted Scotland fans. Enjoy our relative success, for this is a golden period, if you don’t enjoy this moment then I hold out no hope for you as a fan and frankly you won’t be here with us in 10 years.

    • I guess it depends on how you measure success. If winning 2/3 games out of 5 in every 6N and getting knocked out of successive world cups in the group stages is success then crack open the champagne.But its okay we’ve beaten England 4 times in a row so everything else is secondary.

    • If only the Scottish government had put £20 million into our sport recently….oh wait!! A golden period has silverware not 3rd n 4th place finishes! As far as yesterday very pleasing to secure a win without having to engage more than 3rd gear. Yes England are bad….as bad as they were in mid to late 80s bad. Borthwick makes Scott Johnson Matt Williams and Vern Cotter look competent but that’s on them not us. Brave was utterly shocking as per usual. Ritchie was miles off it and Dempsey wasn’t much better. Christie and Bradbury shod be starting. White was Laidlaw slow and innacurate in service so would have Horne starting all day long. Sad for Sione to be seen him injured but should see Redpath start now which he deserves and McDowell in match day squad which he also deserves. Jones has been quietly superb all tournament. Kinghorn didn’t look fit so would have Rowe or Patterson in there. Healy came on and contributed a knock on…. absolutely nowhere near this level. The Irish must be wetting themselves that we spent money on him. Fin was different level magnificent. That we have had a player like him and not won anything of nite is shocking. Obviously the servile lot will be happy that we get to tug the forelock with the odd 3rd or 4th place finishes, but that’s not how you excel in sport.That officiating in the France game has won Ireland the 6n which somehow makes it even more disgraceful. In any other sport it would be a major investigation as to how sporting integrity was compromised. No I don’t think we beat Ireland in Dublin but were we going there with 4 wins, it might put some doubt in their minds (yeah I know we haven’t beaten Italy yet but hypotheses are allowed). As it is they will no us point England and already have the 6n wrapped up. On a slight downer kit is poor not to have taken the BP against both England n Wales who are generationally bad at the moment. That’s the real difference between and Ireland. They were fuming that they only had the 4pts v Wales at 70 odd min. Comparison with Ireland is entirely valid because 20 years ago they had similar playing numbers similar genetics and similar success levels….they made tough choices to change the narrative whilst we went with path of least resistance and filled Dodson’s pockets. There’s nothing stopping us doing what Ireland has done except for ir the SRU. So yeah criticising the troughers is entirely valid and relevant despite what some mindless cheerleaders think.

    • A (very welcome and deserved) win over a limited England team doesn’t hide the damage done by the SRU to Scottish club rugby.

    • Agree, great sentiment. A lot of counter comments (not to yours, but in nature) reek of Scottish fatalism. A pure lack of winner mentality.

      The Irish have it, we can aspire towards it.

  15. job done. I suppose it’s a sign that things are good when I’m complaining about not getting the bonus try against England.

    BTW we just beat the WC semifinalists, fairly easily as I don’t think we played very well today. But it just goes to show that the WC draw was farcical

  16. It’s going to be so Scottish. You can just see how it will unfold. We go on to beat Italy and find a way to somehow beat Ireland but come second as Ireland will beat England and get a bonus point in one of the next two games to go out of reach. Then the Nic Berry levitating ball decision will have really turned us over.

    • They’re already out of reach realistically – thanks to our decision not to run for a BP at the end of todays game when there was zero risk of losing the game – why!?

      • Don’t be silly.

        If we hadn’t been the victim of the ref v France I might agree with you, but in reality…. We are fighting England for second place, so down to 14, behind our own 22, it was very much the correct decision.

  17. After 15 minutes , the numerous knock ons , fluffed passes , general panic and the 0-10 score line I thought a huge drubbing was on the cards for us. Yet again we seemed to be on the wrong end of the referee’s decisions.
    The first scrum going against Miller Mills was in my mind a penalty for us with Genge boring in on the angle and hinge ing. The number of times we had an England player held in the ‘choke’ with their knees off the floor only for Brace to shout release or take an age before giving us the penalty was ridiculous. The failure to penalise Genge for the shoulder charge no arms tackle because he landed on his own player was farcical.
    Thanks to a few moments of genius from VDM we managed to steady the ship and keep England at arms length. A bonus point 4th try would have been the icing but we never looked like getting it.

    • I thought Brace had a good game.
      I am not sure how you can give a penalty against Genge for hitting his own player

      • Basically whether it is an England player or an opposition player charging in with a shoulder no wrap and basically with intent [to either intimidate or injure] should be punished.
        Sorry Ref I meant to hit the opposition but thankfully it was one of my team mates. Come on Adam, think about it.

      • George it’s not Minority Report you can’t penalised intent, he did something potentially dangerous but in the end it wasn’t. It’s a dangerous road to go down and won’t do the game any good.

      • As I suggested the ‘intent’ was there did he keep his arm to the body, yes: did he intend lead with the shoulder, yes: for instance is that any different from Fagerson when he got a Red when the Welsh prop raised his head once ZF was committed, not in my opinion, to say it wasn’t dangerous when there was no effort to wrap was wrong and certainly doesn’t discourage Genge or anyone else.
        The potential ‘danger’ doesn’t disappear because he hit his own player.

      • Nigel Owens agreed the ref was right not to penalise Genge according to the current laws and interpretation of them (even if he did suggest that maybe this was not right). You can’t criticise the ref for following the laws as they stand.

      • George I agree with everything you say about potential danger but you can’t give a penalty for potentially dangerous play it’s just not in the laws.
        Stupid play by Genge yeh, potential dangerous yeh, lucky he didn’t connect with Sco player yeh, penalty no.

      • Well your post this morning, we will just have to disagree, however if the Blessed Nigel suggests I have a point, I’ll accept the support, all the best G.

    • Genge always turn his hips out and rolls down the side of the THP. How he isn’t constantly pinged is mystifying

  18. Miller-Mills did well in his 2 spells on pitch. That first scrum penalty should 100% have gone the other way (Nigel Owens agreeing in commentary)

    • Yep and for that reason David, Tom English in all respect can go choke on his words too. Dylan Hartley can learn a thing of Mossy in how to appreciate the opposition instead of thinking you’re only employed to big up your own team.
      After all the years of disappointment and now 4 on the bounce I never thought I’d read ‘ Clinical scotland put england to the sword’!! Enjoy this moment everyone roll on Italy. …

  19. No matter how well or poorly we’ve played it’s amazing how often we rely in Duhan doing something special.

    Been a big game player for us. Shows up in many of the big wins.

  20. Thought it was a some good and some bad performance.
    England started strongly… we took a fair while to get settled. I thought our forwards stood up pretty well… all this lack of perceived power that we have of Scotland.. yet our pack outweighed Englands.
    I thought both sides coughed the ball up too easily at times. I thought Englands tactics were pretty naive actually…they allowed Scotland to play to their counter attacking style at important moments. They might be implementing SA’s rush defense…but they’ve got a fair bit to go to be as good as SA at it.
    I thought Redpath made a positive difference when he came on..(except when he left a rookie level gap for Waboso to run through)…..but generally gave Englands rush defense the issue of guessing which playmaker to focus on. There were some moments where we look like we finally worked out the way to line break through the gaps a rush defense can create.
    A the end of day there shouldn’t be much between 5th and 6th world ranked sides…and there wasn’t. It was 2 contrasting play styles …and Scotland deserved the win …because hey ho.. they won…and I thought finished strongly.
    The French loss already looks like costing us the 6N.

    Surely Ashman and Christie start ahead of Turner and Ritchie….possibly starting Redpath at 12 with Tui or Jones at 13.

    Sweet win!

      • Agree Turner and Ritchie not much wrong, But Ashman was v good when he came on and hit his jumpers, which is good news for Edinburgh if they have sorted out his throwing ! Christie also looked good so maybe worth a start re Italy as possibly a bit bigger? Only spotted one Jackle from us today seems attacks are more organised these days ….

      • Al F Christie isn’t bigger than Ritchie. agree on the lack of turnovers but it seemed like last 20mins we made a choice to not compete at rucks and stay on our feet to defend.

      • Hi Adam, we didn’t give away so many pens so maybe that’s the compromise, only compete when the risk of a pen is low ..

        Maybe it’s just Christies hair that makes him look bigger ,😕

  21. A bonkers match. Moments of brilliance with periods of abject nonsense. Never seen so many mistakes from international players.

    Thought we were for it after first 10 mins but fantastic resilience from the guys with superb scores.

    Take a bow Gregor. Spot on tactics.

  22. Well what a start: down by 10 in the first 4 minutes: but in the immortal words of Private Frazer ‘I never doubted you lads for a minute’.
    The Traquair and a Malt as yet to be decided will take a hammering tonight.
    That’s 3 from 3 in my mind, of course other views are available.

  23. Ok no complaints, hope Tuipulotu is OK. Even Ashman was not bad today. Christie must start against Italy. That was a professional performance to day , points were taken, Finn ran the game well and his 100% goal kicking is more than welcome. There is however only one guy we will be talking about till a fortnights time and that is VDM. His three tries from almost nothing really put England to the sword, he does make a habit of that does he not.

  24. Ok Adam , don’t worry, they’ll come up with something….. !

    But what a great win, thought we were stuffed after 20 mins … But who ever calls Scotland clinical? I think we scored on every entry to the 22 ….

    I worried a little more approaching the end as our line speed seemed to drop off, but we held on just enough.

    Beat Italy and it’s a Grand Slam decider v Ireland (note I count the Fr nch match as a win and always will …)

    • As a heavy critic of him. He did very little wrong as far as I can see. I for one delighted with this win. So are we are great team or were England really really poor? Will leave for now Congrats to the team and Mr Townsend.

      • I think we won playing mostly in third gear tbh – when we did crank up into fifth England could not live with us. Turner was excellent, again, and massive credit to Scott Cummings whom I am typically critical of – lad played a blinder. Cummings was a nuisance at the lineout, a nice wee intercept, powerful and disruptive at the breakdown. Hope Sione is not too hurt but no worries about Redpath stepping in if required.

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