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Tale of the tape: Scotland vs England

10 February 2014

  • Scotland did not have a single possession in England's 22
  • Lock Courtney Lawes took 10 lineouts
England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster chats to England analyst Duncan Locke at Twickenham

Photo: Getty Images

The score line is the only statistic that matters, evidenced by the satisfaction felt by the England squad after the 20-0 defeat of Scotland at Murrayfield. But more detailed analysis can also provide a view on the game so called on the unique insight of the people analyse the match for the England coaches and provide in-game data, Michael Hughes and Duncan Locke, to see what other stories the match stats have to tell.

This is what they had to say:

"The most notable statistic from the win at Murrayfield regards England’s defence, which kept Scotland scoreless for the first time in this fixture since 1978. But further to that, the hosts did not touch the ball in England’s 22 for the entirety of the match. That was backed by the defensive system operating at a 94 per cent tackle success rate, which only allowed two line-breaks.

England lock Courtney Lawes rises above Jim Hamilton to claim a lineout against Scotland

Photo: Getty Images

In individual terms, Owen Farrell and Chris Robshaw were the top tacklers with 14, while Tom Wood and Dylan Hartley made 11 and Danny Care, Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes each brought down 10 attackers. Eight of the starting 15 did not miss a tackle.

Winning the territorial battle to such an extent, England also had 62 possessions to Scotland’s 45 and achieved a gainline success rate of 63 per cent to 54 per cent. England did turn the ball over more times than Scotland (19 to 18) in tricky conditions but that was, in part, due to have the ball a lot more.

The lineout was also a major success, in both defence and attack. England had 24 lineouts in the game and won 22 of them (94 per cent). Courtney Lawes took a whopping 10 lineouts, while Tom Wood claimed five balls in the air.

Defensively, England turned over five of Scotland’s 12 lineouts, while one of the seven they won was scrappy due to pressure on the jumper.

On a pitch that was cutting up badly, the scrums were relatively even with both teams winning all their ball – England six of six and Scotland five of five. But England won three penalties, without conceding any on Scotland put-ins.

Mike Brown

Photo: Getty Images

In attack, the team took 55 per cent of carries over the gainline. Billy Vunipola was yet again the team’s top carrier with 15, taking 10 over gainline, dominating his opponent on eight occasions and making two offloads. In addition to second try in two games, man of the match Mike Brown made 11 carries, with seven over the gainline and three clean breaks. Jonny May carried eight times, but managed to produce two clean breaks with that possession.

On the deck, the usual suspects had strong games. Wood hit 36 rucks, while Robshaw arrived at 29 and stole the ball two occasions. Dan Cole hit 26 and produced a steal too."