- Two-try England defeat Scotland
- Scotland scoreless in this fixture for first time since 1978
Scotland 0 England 20
Luther Burrell and Mike Brown scored for the second successive match in the 2014 RBS 6 Nations as England recorded a comprehensive 20-0 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield.
Tries in either half illuminated a dominant performance from Stuart Lancaster’s side, with a rock-solid defensive performance keeping Scotland scoreless in this fixture for the first time since 1978.
Only an unusually wayward performance from the tee from Owen Farrell and some niggling inability to capitalise on their nine line-breaks prevented the defeat from being much heavier, with England’s pack forcing Scotland to concede a host of penalties – 16 in total.
Photo: Getty Images
Built on the platform provided by the forwards and ignited by the probings of excellent half-backs Danny Care and Farrell, England beat 27 defenders and gained 420 metres with ball in hand in another enterprising attacking display, despite the heavy pitch.
Care, who plundered a three-pointer in the Paris last week, opened the scoring with a well-struck drop-goal on six minutes from the edge of the 22 after Farrell had sent a penalty into touch for lineout possession.
England, unchanged from the last-gasp defeat to France, looked composed and confident from the off and after Scotland skipper Greig Laidlaw missed the opportunity to level the scores with a penalty on nine minutes, they signalled their intentions with an aggressive passage of play.
Lions full back Stuart Hogg leapt to collect a high-ball only to be thundered back by opposite number Mike Brown, before Billy Twelvetress absorbed a huge collision with Scotland No.8 Dave Denton to allow England to turn over the resultant possession.
Soon after and England were celebrating the game’s opening try on 14 minutes, with the unstoppable lineout – hooker Dylan Hartley threw a perfect 12 from 12 before the break – the creating the opportunity.
Farrell drilled a penalty to touch and when the pack delivered the ball, Care had possession. The Harlequins No.9, who controlled the game with boot and hand in the opening half, delivered a pinpoint pass to the onrushing Burrell, who ran a sharp line and gleefully went over for his second try in only his second Test.
Photo: Getty Images
Scotland conceded penalty after penalty in the opening quarter as Chris Robshaw and Tom Wood won the battle on the floor, stunting any momentum and sapping the energy from the crowd, which was boisterous in the opening exchanges. Farrell, who missed two presentable penalty chances, let them off the hook until the 28th minute.
The hosts were mounting a rare attack but after the possession was lost, Care pinned them deep in the 22 with a measured kick. Former captain Ross Ford wildly overthrew the ball at the lineout and Scotland could only halt the visitors on the deck illegally. Farrell duly pumped over the penalty to make England’s advantage 13 to nil.
It stayed that way at half time but only after Burrell was hauled down just short following Farrell's smooth break.
The second half continued in a similar vein to the opening period, with England controlling possession and territory. Jonny May, playing with a broken nose sustained in Paris, twice showed the sparkling feet which have won him the place on the left wing.
First he set off on a fabulous, scything run which took the 23 year-old past six would-be tacklers, only to be stopped by the last line of defence. Then Gloucester Rugby teammate Billy Twelvetrees fizzed him a flat pass which rendered two defenders completely redundant. Again Hogg stopped May just short, though.
Farrell, who more than made up for his woes from the tee with another mature display, missed another penalty but the second try did not take long to arrive. Exeter Chiefs wing Jack Nowell, coming off his wing in typical fashion, made it.
Photo: Getty Images
The 20 year-old showed strength and awareness on the hour mark to wriggle past two defenders and pass to Brown, who strolled over for his second try in successive games. Anything Burrell could do, Brown could do too.
England remained the aggressors in the final quarter – winning the possession and territory statistics by 58 per cent and 66 per cent respectively – but could not add the score. Although the team will fell a few tries were left out there, the result will remain deeply satisfying after the last-gasp defeat to France in the opening game.
Ireland, who defeated Wales 26-3 in Dublin to make it two from two in this year’s tournament, are the next visitors to Twickenham on Saturday, February 22. With both packs looking mobile and robust, it is shaping up to be a titanic battle.
Scotland vs England teams
Scotland: 15-Stuart Hogg, 14-Tommy Seymour, 13-Alex Dunbar, 12-Matt Scott, 11-Sean Lamont, 10-Duncan Weir, 9-Greig Laidlaw; 1-Ryan Grant, 2-Ross Ford, 3-Moray Low, 4-Tim Swinson, 5-Jim Hamilton, 6-Ryan Wilson, 7-Chris Fusaro, 8- David Denton
Replacements: 16-Scott Lawson (for Ford, 43) , 17-Alasdair Dickinson (for Grant, 43) 18-Geoff Cross, 19-Jonny Gray, 20-Johnnie Beattie (for Denton, 53), 21-Chris Cusiter (for Laidlaw, 65), 22-Duncan Taylor, 23-Max Evans (for Seymour, 65)
Yellow card: Dunbar (51)
England: 15-Mike Brown, 14-Jack Nowell, 13-Luther Burrell, 12-Billy Twelvetrees, 11-Jonny May, 10-Owen Farrell, 9-Danny Care;-; 1-Joe Marler. 2-Dylan Hartley, 3-Dan Cole, 4-Joe Launchbury, 5-Courtney Lawes, 6-Tom Wood, 7-Chris Robshaw (captain), 8-Billy Vunipola
Replacements: 16-Tom Youngs (for Hartley, 70), 17-Mako Vunipola (for Marler, 65), 18-Henry Thomas (for Cole, 76), 19-Dave Attwood (for Launchbury, 63), 20-Ben Morgan (for B Vunipola, 70), 21-Lee Dickson (for Care, 74), 22-Brad Barritt (for Burrell, 74) , 23-Alex Goode (for May, 74).
Referee: Jérôme Garces (Fra)
Touch judges: George Clancy (Ire) & Mike Fraser (NZL)
TV: Eric Gauzins (Fra)