Scotland v England: 5 key moments which led to the Calcutta Cup heading south

Rugby, especially on a day like Saturday, is a game of inches, and on this occasion England did enough to get their hands on the Calcutta Cup for the first time in three years

England stand-off George Ford jumps with delight after Ellis Genge's decisive try. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
England stand-off George Ford jumps with delight after Ellis Genge's decisive try. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

16 minutes: Scotland earn a penalty that looks to be within kicking range and presents Adam Hastings with the chance to cancel out Owen Farrell’s earlier kick. But, with gusting wind having caused Farrell to miss an earlier effort, instead of opting to go for the three points that would restore parity, Stuart Hogg goes for the corner. Scotland win the line-out but then lose possession and the chance goes begging.

34 minutes: With half time approaching and Scotland having failed to profit from the wind that has been at their backs, Hogg despatches another penalty into touch. The ball is gathered at the ensuing line-out but the drive for the whitewash ends with Rory Sutherland being penalised for going off his feet. England run the clock down and the hosts reach the break without scoring.


Scotland v England: late Ellis Genge try decides windswept encounter

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Finn Russell breaks silence for the first time since Scotland walk-out


41 minutes: Scotland resume with intent and Sutherland makes a thundering run that carries play deep into the England 22 and sets up a spell of sustained pressure. Hogg boots another penalty into touch and Scott Cummings gathers the throw to create the platform for another multiphase effort that yields a penalty. This time Hastings goes for the sticks and ties the scores.

69 minutes: George Ford hits a clever kick that squirts off the sodden pitch and bounces towards the Scotland line. Hogg covers back but misjudges the bounce and is fortunate to apply downward pressure with his stomach as Farrell pounces. From the ensuing scrum, England set up a surge that ends with Ellis Genge powering over. Farrell converts and five minutes later boots a penalty that looks to have made the game safe.

77 minutes: Scotland have a chance to retaliate with a 25 metre penalty. Needing two scores, Hastings goes for goal and cuts the deficit to seven points, meaning the Scots can still draw if they can claim a converted try. That sets up a rousing finale. With the clock ticking towards 80 minutes, Ali Price kicks from his 22 and a subsequent knock-on hands England a scrum that gives them the chance to see out the remaining seconds before Ford clatters the ball into the crowd to spark celebrations in the away camp.


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The Grudge by Tom English
Colin Renton
About Colin Renton 158 Articles
Colin has been a freelance writer on a range of subjects including sport, food & drink, travel and finance for more than 20 years. During that time, he has contributed to over 75 publications and websites. He is also an experienced proof reader and editor. Colin covers rugby at all levels but is particularly passionate about the game at grass roots. As a fluent French speaker, he has a keen interest in rugby in France and for many years has reported on the careers of Scots who have moved across the Channel to ply their trade. He appreciates high quality, engaging writing that is thought provoking, and hopes that some of his own work fits that bill!

5 Comments

  1. the booing tradition started I think when Bob Hiller used to take an age to howf up six inches of turf to make a tee
    personally I think some good natured booing or whistling is ok. Kickers don’t care. Some leagues and countries are taking a holier than thou stance these days but the issue might be dealt with better by reducing the time allowed to kick to 45 seconds starting from when the penalty has been whistled. Same for scrums – get the ball in in 45 seconds or concede a free kick.”Dream on!” you all shout!

  2. I have played, watched and suported rugby at all levels for 60 years. If a kicker earning huge amounts of money and taking an age to take a kick can’t hendle a bit of light heated booing then that is his problem not the the punter paying around £60 to watch kickers and scrums wasting time!!!!

  3. I’d add a 6th – Kyle Sinkler ripping the ball while lying flat on the ground a few metres from his own try line. Scotland made enough mistakes that we can allow the ref one or two, but if you’re talking key moments, that felt like a real momentum-changer.

  4. Weather conditions were poor but both teams were equally poor in their attempts to play such conditions. Certain elements of the home crowd should be ashamed of the lack of respect whilst goal kicks were attempted

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