England slide past Scotland
Sat, 08 Feb 2014 18:41
England scored a try in each half to secure a comprehensive 20-0 win over Scotland in terrible conditions at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Luther Burrell and Mike Brown, as they'd done in defeat by France last weekend, both scored tries as the 132nd edition of international rugby union's oldest fixture saw Scotland rendered pointless by England for the first time since a 15-0 loss at Murrayfield in 1978.
Had not flyhalf Owen Farrell missed several goalkicks, the final scoreline might have been even more lopsided.
"Losing to France last week was massively frustrating and we wanted to show a reaction this week," Brown said.
"We've definitely done that. I'm ecstatic to score a try. The pitch isn't in the best condition but I thought we played at a great tempo."
For Scotland, it was a match to forget, with replacement scrumhalf Chris Cusiter admitting: "Nothing worked. We couldn't get anything going.
"It is massively disappointing. The setpiece was malfunctioning and the line-out wasn't going well.
"If that is not working then you won't win a Six Nations game."
Scotland made three changes from the side that opened the Six Nations with a 28-6 loss to Ireland last weekend, with Australia coach Scott Johnson controversially dropping captain Kelly Brown and giving his place at openside flank to debutant Chris Fusaro.
Tommy Seymour replaced the injured Sean Maitland while Matt Scott was brought into midfield instead of Duncan Taylor.
Scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw took over the captaincy from Brown.
England, whose first match in charge under coach Stuart Lancaster was a 13-6 win at Murrayfield two years ago, were unchanged following an agonising 26-24 loss to France in Paris.
The parasite-infested Murrayfield pitch was boggy even before driving rain during the game turned it into a quagmire.
And three minutes in Farrell lost his footing as he saw a 30 metre penalty attempt drift wide.
However, England were 3-0 in front minutes later when scrumhalf Danny Care dropped a goal after gathering the ball out wide from a ruck.
Scotland then forced a penalty from a ruck turnover but Laidlaw pushed a 43 metre touchline effort wide.
England, with Care bossing his forwards effectively, won another penalty which Farrell kicked for a line-out barely 10 metres from Scotland's line.
From the ensuing catch and drive, England mauled before Care's well-timed pass sent onrushing centre Burrell in for a try.
The score stayed at 10-0 in England's favour as both Laidlaw, with a kick rebounding off the post, and Farrell missed penalties.
England were gaining ascendancy up front and Care's excellent cross-field grubber kick set up a line-out deep inside Scotland's 22.
Scotland hooker Ross Ford's wayward throw went over the head of intended recipient Jim Hamilton.
England regathered before a Scottish infringement gave Farrell an easy penalty chance which he duly kicked.
Shortly before half-time Burrell nearly had a second try when, following a break by Farrell, he took the ball on the burst only to be hauled down just short of the line by veteran Scotland wing Sean Lamont.
As it was, England turned round with a healthy 13-0 lead.
Not for the first time, Scotland - rendered tryless for the second match in a row - suffered from self-inflicted wounds, a promising position undone by a knock-on while missed tackles allowed England to gain ground.
Fortunately for Scotland, Farrell hooked a penalty wide and England were not yet out of sight.
But Scotland's task was made harder however when, after another brilliant run by May which ended with him hauled down short of the line, centre Alex Dunbar was sent to the sin bin for not releasing at the tackle.
With Scotland a man down, the second try England had been threatening arrived in the 58th minute.
Clever footwork saw wing Jack Nowell evade Scott's tackle before he rounded full-back Stuart Hogg and sent in Brown for a well-worked try.
Farrell converted and England were out of sight at 20-0.
Man of the match: England fullback Mike Brown was impressive throughout in tough conditions.
Moment of the match: The pass that Danny Care gave Luther Burrell for the opening try was perfectly timed and cracked the Scottish defence wide open.
Villain of the match: The pitch was in a shocking state, which made things more difficult for both sides.
Tries: Burrell, Brown
Cons: Farrell 2
Yellow card: Alex Dunbar (professional foul, 51 mins)
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain) 8 David Denton, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Moray Low, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Jonny Gray, 20 Johnnie Beattie, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Max Evans.
England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Danny Care, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Brad Barritt, 23 Alex Goode.
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: George Clancy (Ireland), Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)
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