Saturday Feb 24, 2018

Scotland claim first victory over England since 2008 in epic match

Scotland claim first victory over England since 2008 in epic match
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Scotland produced a sensational performance in front of a packed BT Murrayfeld to beat England 25-13 and reclaim the Calcutta Cup for the first time since 2008.

Two tries from Huw Jones and another from Sean Maitland helped the home side take a 22-6 lead in to the changing rooms at half-time.

England fought back admirably through Owen Farrell, who added a converted try to a pair of first half penalties to close the gap, but Finn Russell’s penalty 13 minutes from time sealed Scotland’s second win of the 6 Nations.

Russell back on form

The question many asked before the match was whether Scotland’s illustrious fly-half Russell could return to his mercurial best against the number one side in the Northern Hemisphere when it mattered.

His performance, notably his kicking from hand in the opening quarter did everything to prove that the real Russell had turned up. Twice he pinned Eddie Jones’ men deep in their own half as Scotland took the lions’ share of possession in the first half.

Scotland’s first try came against the run of play as England struggled to control a loose ball, with Jones latching onto it at pace for the score.

They were potent in attack and Russell’s 50-50 pass over the top of the on-rushing English defence landed into the hands of the centre who the raced up-field, only to be brilliantly scragged down by Jonny May.

Nevertheless, the second try came courtesy of quick ball for Greig Laidlaw, who fed his backline with alacrity. Maitland scored an almost carbon-copy of his effort against France in the corner.

What Jones did to claim his brace was other-worldly. Off line-out ball, Hamish Watson fed Laidlaw who then sent a perfectly-weighted pass along the line to send Jones straight through the gap and bursting towards the line.

He fended off two defenders and was hauled down just short of the line, but managed to stretch and touch down.

22-6 to Scotland at half-time and the Murrayfield faithful started to believe.

England fight back through Farrell

That England had only lost one match under Eddie Jones prior to this game must have played on Scotland’s mind. They came out fighting in the second half and showed the sort of aggression and grit that has made them so successful in the past year.

Now with possession aplenty, they went on the rampage in the Scottish half and came away with a superb try from Farrell.

The centre picked a beautiful line off scrum-half Danny Care to saunter in under the posts. Farrell’s conversion brought the scores to 22-13.

England had a number of clear chances to close the gap even further. Care thought he was in the clear after intercepting an Ali Price pass, but replacement back-row Sam Underhill gave away a penalty at the ruck, extinguishing his team’s opportunity.

Underhill himself played an even more pivotal role in the match when he was yellow carded for a no arms tackle. Referee Nigel Owens could have easily handed a red and Underhill, as well as his England side were perhaps sighing some welcomed relief.

Summary

Scotland had to somehow withstand the onslaught from England in the closing stages but in reality, all they had to do was continue playing the way they had in the first half.

John Barclay was immense at the breakdown and won several of England’s dozen-or-so penalties. After Russell nudged the Scots further clear, the game was all but won.

This result signals the end of the Grand Slam chances for England for the second consecutive year, but there was little they did wrong.

The visitors lacked the same sort of intensity as Scotland had at the breakdown and ultimately coughed up far too much ball, resulting in an alarming penalty count for Jones’ team.

47 Comments

  •  45678
    45678

    If you use that rationale, then every breakdown where the defensive team contests the ball is a penalty unless the attacking team have a satisfactory next phase. Nonsense

    Reply
  •  chaz15
    chaz15

    Great performance from Scotland. Hard for myself an Englishman. But great to see that buzz and pride in a Scottish shirt again. Regarding England, with such a depth of talent in the back row, does Nathan Hughes really earn the start? Great carrier of the ball, but just not very dynamic in todays game. i'd rather an 8 who runs at space, rather than straight at people all the time. i was also shocked at his non tackle on Jones....

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    That was Launchbury I believe? I seem to think he got highlighted quite a lot throughout the game, couple penalties (at least 1), that turnover, quite surprising given how normally subtle but solid he is...

    Reply

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  • the key one for me was that turn over in England 22 when they had recovered a kick and the players in the ruck were looking the other way instead of towards the Scotland side. its almost like they weren't expecting the Scotland team to counter ruck at at all

    Reply

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  • The non try where he came back for the penalty was a fantastic call!! he wasn't playing advantage because he didn't think the event had influenced the play too much, and was trying to keep the game flowing but obviously an intercept try is a little too far to let slide.

    Reply
  •  pgrugby
    pgrugby

    ... ok, well apparently I've been out of touch with what has been happening. An article from 2015 saying they have consistently been yellow carding for no arms tackles... https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-rugby/69397387/referee-review-shoulder-charge-yellow-card-and-penalty-try

    Reply
  •  pgrugby
    pgrugby

    I agree that it was a shoulder charge. My question is when did it become a straight yellow card for a shoulder charge if you don't make contact with the head (or anywhere above the shoulders)?

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    "A centre is only as good as his fly half" "A wing is only as good as his centre" "a fly half is only as good as his 9". "The difference between a good and bad takeaway can be the delivery driver" Sweeping statements, it isn't blame shifting for mistakes by any means, more of a reminder to complete the task at had to give others the best chance at completing theirs. The words of Johnno. Jones and the Scottish backline did all the basics very well. That gave them the platform to unleash their talent, whether it be Russell, Hogg, Jones, Denton etc. But all set piece plays start with the scrum. Get that right, and the backs have a much easier day. I will put it in front row terms... If your loosehead is getting folded every scrum, your tighthead won't be in any position to scrummage properly!

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    ' unusual lack of aggressively at breakdown and mauls' its not unusual for England (annoyingly)

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    That's sort of my point.. treating it as "just another game" is the best way to do it.. however it seems to me that England treated it as "just another win"... They knew they had the gear to win the game, all they had to do was turn up and play hard for 80 mins. They never expected Scotland to dominate the first 40 mins, all of a sudden the 'passion, desire, history or whatever' was in Scotland's camp/hearts/heads and it's as if that win was to try and make up for the last 10 years. As for my comment about Te'o, I'm not sure I mean for it to come across as something like him being as passionate as Scotland about the rivalry, but he almost seemed a little offhand about the whole thing, in line with, "yeh, it's just another win"... I think England perhaps wanted the "it's just another game" attitude, they perhaps came with "it's just another win" attitude, and during the game I think the panic knocked down their barriers and the emotion of the occasion and the scoreline set in. That being said, with England winning the cup so many times, this was bound to be a bigger game/result for Scotland..

    Reply
  •  45678
    45678

    Scotland 2018, Ireland 2017, gs decider vs Wales away 201? Gs decider Ireland away 201? I forget the precise years and yes the side is very different, but when it really matters to the other side England get bullied You could call it part of the learning curve like the Johnson era, but the manner we lose the big games is a real worry.

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    Scotland is always a threat when they decide to play their game without thinking about consequences. They sometimes recall me the France of the nineties, maybe we could take notes. It seems England underestimated the scots a bit, with an unusual lack of aggressively at breakdown and mauls. They can't only rely only a Eddie mojo. Well done Scotland, hope they will confirm.

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    Absolutely disagree as Underhill never made the effort to wrap his arms and was leading with the shoulder. Happily for him and Barclay he didn't make contact with the head to avoid a red card and a concussion.

    Reply
  •  pgrugby
    pgrugby

    It definitely was a penalty as he didn't attempt to grasp the player ... maybe he did bounce back quickly from the hit, but looking at it in slow motion it was certainly a shoulder charge to the chest. "Foul Play - Law 9.16 (Dangerous Play) A player must not charge or knock down an opponent carrying the ball without attempting to grasp that player." I don't understand why it was a yellow card. I took a look at the World Rugby initiative on Reckless Tackles - basically even if you knew there was a change you could hit the head and you do hit the head, it's at least an automatic yellow. In this case he very clearly didn't hit the head and it was a solid hit to the chest which, had he been able to wrap (which he might have if Williams hadn't been there), it would have been an excellent hit. Why then is it a yellow? When I saw it in slow motion when watching the game my thoughts were, "Shoulder charge, he didn't hit the head - just the chest. Ok it's just a penalty, not a yellow." I was wrong. Is there another initiative that I haven't heard about? http://laws.worldrugby.org/?domain=9&guideline=10 http://laws.worldrugby.org/?domain=9&guideline=8

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    History does play a part, but it should not affect emotion/preparation for a game. Some players react to the hype and step up a gear, some people shy away from the occasion. Treating it as just another game rather than the "Must Win Calcutta Cup" is probably a better mindset. It doesn't matter who the opposition are, as long as you have put in your work during the week and keep your head on game day, the result should come. Both teams looked panicked towards the end. Scotland didn't know how to win, England didn't know how to claw it back. The occasion got to both teams, the fight in the tunnel before kick off said it all. England were rattled.

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    To give Jones his dues, he scored against an almost 100% Lions backline. Like Johnno said about Mike Brown, the forwards are glad to have a go-forward bloke like Jones in the team, he can't create something out of nothing, but will always put you on the front foot.

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    No disrespect to Jones, but a centre is only as good as the pass. Players like Jones and Hogg need that sort of playmaker to maximise their potential. Finn Russell has been a revelation. Fly-Halvery requires a very different magic to the dark arts of the breakdown/scrum/physical confrontation. I don't know if it is witchcraft/voodoo, but when space appears... time slows. Before you realise the ball has left your hands, it is 7 points. Some players have it, some don't. Time is a human concept. 0.3s to one man feels like 10seconds to another. I don't know how else to explain it, it doesn't feel real. You. Just. Don't. Think. Action, not reaction. Something takes over

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Where in the laws does it say what arm has to wrap I'm respect to what shoulder hits?

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I'd get it if it was actually high, but it was high chest height I think..seemed it was judged on being a no arms tackle - which in itself is a bit harsh to get a yellow for in the first instance, but secondly as mentioned, it looked to me like arms were involved as he went for the ball... But I guess I'm no Nigel Owens haha

    Reply
  •  rugbydump
    rugbydump

    Updated with highlights that should be available worldwide, hopefully

    Reply
  •  ruckinmaul
    ruckinmaul

    As much as I want to agree with you about Owens refereeing but I can't agree with you on this. I've watched the replay numerous of times and from what I've seen, Underhill led with his 'left' shoulder and his left arm never try to wrap, his left arm straight onto the stomach of the Scottish player. You just cannot lead with left shoulder but wrapping with right arm, never the logic here, and it will always be a shoulder charge. Yes Williams might be the mitigating factor in blocking Underhill left arm, but a foul play is a foul play regardless of the mitigating factor especially caused by his teammate.

    Reply
  •  ruckinmaul
    ruckinmaul

    He had been playing in South Africa (Western Province and Stormers) prior his move to Scotland. A Scottish born to Scottish parents but grew up in Western Province. I believe he chose to play for the Flower of Scotland instead of Springboks. He running angle is dead straight and South Africa centre is renowned for it.

    Reply

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  • not always. The ice dancing is on now instead.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Scotland need to find another gear, do all they did, and go one step better!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I find the hype around the pre match very interesting, everyone saying Scotland has this huge heart and passion and desire... I don't deny that, but I feel the players have had that for the last 10 or more years and never quite delivered..or let the occasion get the better of them, passion turns into raw emotion, some Scotsman decides to punch some player in the gob on the 20m line at the 80min mark whilst leading by 1 point to demonstrate his passion, only the hand the game to the oppo.. or they get so excited they forget that after the initial whistle goes, you have to play for 80 mins and they get trounced... England on the other hand, almost had; what one would assume, the correct stance, especially with Te'o (?) suggesting he doesn't know the history...kind of doesn't care... As in "focus on the rugby that is required to be played"... However, part of me feels that's a bit of an insult all round.. the guy afaik, was not born in England, yet through residency or whatever is playing for England.. to me that's not just a "yeh, you'll do lad, chuck on the white shirt" with him replying, "yeh alright, got sweet FA to do on Saturday anyway" sort of situation, it's a big deal! You're playing for YOUR country. Take Dylan Hartley, he's a kiwi sure, but in my view he seems to have fully embraced the adopted country and take it as his own. I fully expected this match to either be: Scotland getting schooled a la Wales match, or it being closer to start with, then the inevitable Scotland falling apart and handing England every opportunity going.. makes me wonder if the England team felt the same..they'd have to play hard and it'd no doubt be tough, but eventually the win would come.. I think they were complacent. I hope for Scotland's sake they don't get complacent in victory and head over the Ireland thinking they're in for a good chance at winning based on the England match.. Ireland are going to see Scotland's true potential and they will put up a hell of a fight!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I get what you're saying but my reference to "damage was done" was Nigel Owens actual words for drawing play back and penalising Launchbury. It seemed to me he more or less told Launchbury he treading a fine line, and Launchbury did as he was told and backed off, that, in some sense, should be the end of it, but Owens seemed to review it himself and tell himself that perhaps Launchbury just did that but too much before Owens warning... Basically, had Scotland recycled the ball on the same spot for 5 minutes, there would be no penalty/no advantage being played, but because the contrast was so huge with suddenly a try being scored, Owens decided that it was worth a penalty... I do think perhaps the instructions were less to Scotland because their infringements were less/less impacting... However as Andy Nicol (was it?) said, "if you're an England fan you'll see a penalty in almost every ruck, if you're a Scottish fan you'll see a penalty in almost every ruck"... (I'm aware that is your point)... But I suppose it's up to the masses to decide if the balance was correct... I do recall seeing a number of Scottish rucks with Scottish players at the very front, on their elbows... I assume there must have been English rucks with the same, but I didn't notice quite as much if I'm honest..

    Reply
  •  franke
    franke

    You can go directly to the Six Nations Rugby channel on YouTube. NBC Sports rugby coverage sucks, always has. But organizations like USA Rugby sign deals with them for the money, not the fans. ESPN/Disney is even more on time and generous with their rugby coverage and they charge a premium for just about everything.

    Reply
  •  weejockmcplop
    weejockmcplop

    Scotland played well in the first have with pace and aggression that unsettled England. In the second half England came back strongly and but for a few close calls could have made it much closer if not actually won. As they say, games are won and lost on such fine margins. Thought Nigel had a reasonable game, got most of the calls right. Did think the penalty count was a bit harsh but when you look at each on isolation he tended to get the calls right. Another step in the right direction for Scotland but not world beaters yet. England need to learn how to control teams that attack with pace and passion, but they're still a formidable team and building well for the World Cup

    Reply
  •  weejockmcplop
    weejockmcplop

    I think it is not so much that he led with the shoulder as he dropped his arm to his to enable hit to hit and wrap and hit Bhatti high in the chest with the point of his shoulder. It was dangerous and he as lucky it was only yellow. Don't think that it was deliberate, just one of those moments when the player tries to put in a big hit and gets it wrong. That said, Nigel has a duty of care to the players on the pitch and you cannot have hits like that going in

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    That was a very odd call to me, it seemed to me that Owens did exactly as you said above, then after the intercept was thrown he reviewed his own decision, he said the words "the damage was already done"... ...I believe he based that decision on the next phase of play... Launchbury slowed it down just enough to 'spoil' Scotland's flow, the pass was thrown and intercepted and I assume Owens had it in his head that had Launchbury not done that, the wild intercept pass wouldn't have been thrown... Whether he's allowed to do all that I don't know...

    Reply
  •  rugbydump
    rugbydump

    The official 6 Nations guys block them outside of certain countries unfortunately, usually due to TV deals. It is on NBC in the US, isn't it?

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    from an England supporter I don't think the Scottish players needed the 'coaching' as they were not doing anything wrong. I do think the handling of the Launchbury pen prior to the intercept should have been dealt with better. Owens shouts to Launchbury to leave it as it has been lost. Launchbury immediately lets go and Owens says nothing. Its not until care if halfway to the tryline that the pen is called. Would have been nice for Owens to have called advantage or just pinged Launchbury straight way...

    Reply
  •  45678
    45678

    Joseph has always been a good defender, but he was all over the place yesterday. Jones schooled him totally

    Reply
  •  45678
    45678

    An impartial Celt in a match against England? Pull the other one ????

    Reply
  •  thefrontrow
    thefrontrow

    @10stonenumber10 - Jeeze, I've clearly been living under a rock! Brilliant player.

    Reply

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  • why the f*** isn't the video available in the US. It's not as though it gets televised here.

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    The Underhill challenge can't be a yellow. There have been some examples where players lead with the shoulder and hit the opponent so hard that they bounce off before they can wrap their arms. Here the opposite happened. Underhill led with the shoulder (because, what else are you to lead with?) and clearly went to wrap with his right arm, but the considerable force of three chunky Scotsmen sent him flying back before he had time. His left arm is blocked from wrapping by Williams flying in with no arms. And in fact, if anyone should get a yellow here it should be Williams for his reckless no arms chop. So Owens probably made the right decision but for the wrong player I'm also not sure what's more irritating: the Scots attempting to coerce Owens into giving a card or the fact that it worked.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I loved his try when he broke free, looked at his options and then just went "fk it, I'll go myself!" Straight between Brown and Watson (was it?)

    Reply
  •  thefrontrow
    thefrontrow

    Fantastic, will follow this guy with interest.

    Reply
  •  thefrontrow
    thefrontrow

    There is a lot of sentiment on similar hits/cards down here only 2 weeks into Super Rugby. Players are being marched off for what seem like completely unintended but high shots, that haven't injured anyone or impacted the game. The yellow card sure changes the game though. Right or wrong we're going to see yellow cards all over the place. We'll all just have to adjust our expectations of the game, I guess.

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    He has scored against NZ, Aus, France, Samoa, Japan and England. Future Lion.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    * just watched the video on here and Underhill takes the card with no complaints and after the initial hit his forearm returns back to his stomach area.. maybe it was a pure shoulder... Quite amused me seeing Robshaw clapping when Owens blew his whistle, only to turn to see it's a penalty against England hahaha!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Brilliant game! Sort of thought the same as Osprey, Scotland almost looked panicked that they might actually win the game and so played with this terrified "I don't want to be the one to make us lose" sort of feeling.. One thing which I'm sure might be brought up was that I personally felt that the yellow card was a little harsh... I'd like to see it again, but it looked to me like the English player had his left arm out in front with almost a view to tackling the ball.... I could be wrong, but it almost seemed like his initial plan was to brace as he went for the ball and his shoulder connected before anything else... But like I said, could be wrong, need to see the footage once more...

    Reply
  •  thefrontrow
    thefrontrow

    Delighted for Scotland, that Huw Jones is a hell of a player. Is he always that sharp?

    Reply
  •  the_osprey
    the_osprey

    Scotland really showed their potential in the first half. I felt like they clammed up a lot under the pressure of actually beating England in the second half, although England obviously came out firing too. The most exciting rugby in the UK is coming out of Glasgow and Llanelli at the moment, and I just wish that this brand of rugby would win games more often.

    Reply
  •  the_osprey
    the_osprey

    *Owens'

    Reply
  •  the_osprey
    the_osprey

    No problem with Owen's refereeing from a neutral perspective

    Reply

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Scotland claim first victory over England since 2008 in epic match | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos