- Four-try England retain Calcutta Cup at Twickenham Stadium
- Ashton, Twelvetrees, Parling and Care with tries for impressive England
England 38 Scotland 18
Billy Twelvetrees scored a try on his debut as England defeated Scotland 38-18 in their RBS 6 Nations opener at Twickenham Stadium.
Chris Ashton, Geoff Parling and replacement Danny Care also touched down as Stuart Lancaster’s side overwhelmed the visitors with a display of intensity that rippled with attacking intent.
Scotland scored two excellent tries through debutant Sean Maitland and impressive full back Stuart Hogg but England dominated possession, 62 per cent, and territory, 69 per cent, for long spells.
Marshalled superbly by Man of the Match Owen Farrell throughout, England were in charge at the breakdown early on, giving the Saracens man the first of his penalty opportunities after two minutes.
The 21-year-old slotted England into the lead but Scotland’s dangerous back three hit back to take the lead seven minutes later.
After Joe Launchbury lost possession in contact in the 22 and the ball was cleared by Scotland No.10 Ruaridh Jackson, full back Mike Brown failed to find touch with his kick. Hogg, who rifled a couple of long range kicks to touch, produced a scintillating 90-metre kick return through a large hole in England’s defence. That set up the field position for Maitland to score his first Test try after nine minutes when the ball was recycled.
England continued to dominate at the tackle area and Farrell soon booted the hosts back into the lead on 11 with a penalty, before adding another just before the 20 minute mark.
Twelvetrees was impressing with his fixing of defenders and timing of pass and from one attack the Gloucester Rugby centre initiated, Ashton grabbed his 17th Test try. After the indefatigable Launchbury was hauled down just short the ball was recycled and Ben Youngs delivered the scoring pass for Ashton to stretch over.
Farrell, who kicked all of his five attempts in the first half, improved the try and extended the lead to 11 points after No.8 Ben Morgan was caught with a high tackle. But Scotland quickly replied with a Laidlaw penalty on the stroke of half time after Wood was whistled for infringing at the breakdown.
Second half surge
Photo: Getty Images
England started where they left off and Twelvetrees grabbed the try his play deserved just three minutes into the second half. England were camped in Scotland’s half and after a ruck close to their line, Youngs whipped out another scoring pass and Twelvetrees crashed through two defenders to score.
Again the metronomic Farrell added the extras, giving England a 26-11 lead as they threatened to cut loose with some superb passages of play. Soon after Launchbury was denied a first Test try after play was pulled back for an earlier high tackle by Tom Youngs, his second row partner Geoff Parling scored a stunning third England try on 55 minutes.
Ben Youngs set up the field position with a smooth dummy and break and when the ball was recycled, Farrell threw a looped, long pass which cut out three defenders and left the Leicester Tigers man with the simple task of trotting over to score.
Scotland then steadied a ship that look on the verge of sinking and established some territory and possession. But after again being deep in their own half Hogg scored their second try, hacking ahead and winning a foot race with replacement Toby Flood to score in the corner. Laidlaw added a difficult conversion.
Lancaster had thrown on a raft of replacements to maintain the intensity and one of them Danny Care completed the scoring by stretching over on the final whistle, a score which Farrell improved with another conversion.
England vs Scotland teams
England: Goode; Ashton, Barritt, Twelvetrees, Brown; Farrell, B Youngs; Marler, T Youngs, Cole, Launchbury, Parling, Wood, Robshaw, Morgan.
Replacements: Strettle for Goode (68), Flood for Twelvetrees (68), Care for B. Youngs (58), Vunipola for Marler (58), Hartley for T Youngs (54), Wilson for Cole (74), Lawes for Launchbury (65), Haskell for Morgan (46).
Scotland: Hogg; Maitland, Lamont, Scott, Visser; Jackson, Laidlaw, Grant, Hall, Murray, Gray, Hamilton, Strokosch, Brown, Beattie.
Replacements: Evans for Hogg (79), Pyrgos for Laidlaw (74), Ford for Hall (48), Denton for Strokosch (14).
Not Used: Low, Cross, Kellock, Weir.
Ref: Alain Rolland (Ireland)