- Try scorer Geoff Parling feels there is more to come from England
- Lock demands high standards of himself and teammates
It says something about the attitude of Geoff Parling that his abiding memory from England’s 38-18 Calcutta Cup victory over Scotland was being bumped off by Johnnie Beattie instead of his maiden Test try.
The Leicester Tigers lock collected Owen Farrell’s perfectly flighted pass in the 55th minute to trot over unopposed and send the Twickenham crowd into raptures at the quality of the score, which was initiated by a scything Ben Youngs line break.
Parling, who also snared five lineouts, demands high standards and in the immediate aftermath of the game prefers to focus on where he can improve, rather than basking in rare try-scoring glory.
Speaking after emerging from the dressing room the 29-year-old said: “It was a great pass by Faz and all I thought was ‘woah, I’m in here’ as I caught it, I was lucky to get over.
“I was pleased but if I’m honest after the game you tend to think about the things you can work on so more thinking about when I got bounced off by Johnnie Beattie in the first half, but I’m sure I’ll look back at some point and think it was nice to get over.”
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The try added to scores by Chris Ashton and debutant Billy Twelvetrees and stretched England’s lead to 20 points but as Stuart Lancaster’s side threatened to cut loose Scotland gained a foothold in the game and scored their second try through impressive full back Stuart Hogg.
The Glasgow Warriors No.15 also created Sean Maitland’s opening try with a 90-metre kick return through a gaping hole and Parling said England, while pleased with the win, played too loosely at times.
He said: “We had quite a big lead but the game wasn’t over by any stretch of the imagination. We just had to tighten things up and go at them again.
“We got a bit scrappy at times and probably played a bit more loosely than we planned but we’ve got to pleased overall with the victory. I do think we were only in third or fourth gear really and there’s a lot more to come from us.
“We need to cut out some of the little mistakes and realise that although the pass might be on, sometimes it’s better to go through the phases. We’ll review the game, be critical and look at the areas we need to work on. But it was a good win and we can use this momentum.
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“We had quite a big lead but the game wasn’t over by any stretch of the imagination. We just had to tighten things up and go at them again.”
In addition to at try on debut at Twickenham, Twelvetrees showed his quality on the ball by fixing defenders and timing his passes astutely. The fact that the inside centre made 12 carries and the man directly outside him, Brad Barritt, made 14 points to a big influence on the game.
Parling played with Twelvetrees at Leicester and added he demonstrated his obvious quality: “He’s a good player, he can distribute well, he can carry well and can kick well too.
“I’m sure Bill will get more chances and I’m sure he’ll take them just like he did out there.”