Planet Rugby

Scotland gift England Calcutta Cup

04th February 2012 15:27

Share:

Chris Robshaw Ross Ford England Scotland 2012 6N

Winning start: England captain Chris Robshaw

England profited from a self-destructing Scotland side to open their Six Nations campaign with a 13-6 victory at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Stuart Lancaster's new-look team claimed England's first win in the Scottish capital since 2004 but the result had less to do with a new-era of creativity that English fans had been hoping for than the hosts' inability to convert their chances into points.

Scotland led 6-3 at the end of a boring, error-strewn first half that saw both sides fail to seriously threaten the opposition tryline. On the basis of those 40 minutes and the day's earlier game in Paris, neither England nor Scotland will travel to Rome confident of victory this year.

With both sides flooding the breakdown, attacking opportunities from quick ball were few and far between. And rare chances to spread the ball were generally ruined by poor handling or aimless kicking.

An opportunistic try from England fly-half Charlie Hodgson just seconds after the restart sparked the game into life however.

A far more-exciting second period saw Scotland throw the kitchen sink at a well-disciplined English defence but the home fans were left frustrated as their team conspired to make a hash of a number of scoring opportunities.

A scrappy opening quarter ended the with scores locked at 0-0 as Dan Parks kicked most of Scotland's possession away and a series of handling errors and ruck infringements prevented England from finding any sort of rhythm on attack.

It took just over 22 minutes for the first points to be scored courtesy of the boot of debutant England centre Owen Farrell. The hosts took less than three minutes to reply however as the visitors failed to stay on their feet and Parks slotted an easy penalty to restore the status quo.

The Scots began to ply the pressure and Parks split the uprights once again just after the half-hour mark to give his side a deserved lead which they held until the half-time whistle.

The game desperately needed a try and it came within seconds of kick-off when Hodgson charged down a lethargic Parks on the Scottish tryline before pouncing on the loose ball.

Farrell's extra's gave England a 10-6 lead, prompting Scotland up the tempo and the men in blue did most the playing in the second half, dominating territory and possession.

The introduction of Glasgow half-backs Greg Laidlaw and Mike Blair added extra impetus to their attack but the hosts continued to be the architects of their own downfall.

Laidlaw came within inches - literally - from grabbing the lead for Scotland after a kick and chase, but the TMO ruled he failed to touch the ball down ahead of Ben Youngs, while Ross Rennie butchered a fantastic chance to put Blair through.

A late penalty from Farrell settled England's nerves and secured a winning start to a new era.

Man of the match: It's rare that a player from the losing side gets this award but number eight David Denton was a tireless grafter and a standout performer in Scotland's back row.

Moment of the match: Scotland's match cam be summed up it one moment. Ross Rennie's wasted opportunity when he failed to find the two runners on his outside and instead decided to hang on was classic example of the hosts' inability land the killer blow.

Villain of the match: No rough stuff to report.

For England:
Try: Hodgson
Con: Farrell
Pen: Farrell

Scotland: 15 Rory Lamont, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Sean Lamont, 11 Max Evans, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 David Denton, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford (capt), 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Geoff Cross, 18 Alastair Kellock, 19 John Barclay, 20 Mike Blair, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Graeme Morrison.

England: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Brad Barritt, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Phil Dowson, 7 Chris Robshaw (capt) 6 Tom Croft, 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Geoff Parling, 19 Ben Morgan, 20 Lee Dickson, 21 Jordan Turner-Hall, 22 Mike Brown.

Venue: Murrayfield
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Television match official: Tony Redmond (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Pumas vs Western Province19:00
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39