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
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs WaspsExeter vs Wasps Preview
London Irish vs BathLondon Irish vs Bath Preview
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Preview
Scotland vs TongaScotland vs Tonga Preview
Romania vs CanadaRomania vs Canada Preview
Ireland vs AustraliaIreland vs Australia Preview
Wales vs New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Preview
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
More LV= Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720