Scotland's Matt Fagerson (centre) under pressure from England's Owen Farrell (left) and Tom Curry

England 6-11 Scotland: Six Nations match report, scorers, highlights & reaction


Scotland celebrated the 150th anniversary of the oldest rivalry in rugby by stunning England 11-6 to claim their first victory at Twickenham since 1983.

England 6-11 Scotland

England penalties: Farrell (2)

Scotland tries: van der Merwe
Scotland penalties: Russell (2)

Match report

Scotland celebrated the 150th anniversary of the oldest rivalry in rugby by stunning England 11-6 to claim their first victory at Twickenham since 1983.

The 38-year wait for success at the home of the reigning Guinness Six Nations champions finally came to an end as Finn Russell inspired the underdogs to a magnificent win.

Russell directed play masterfully, Cameron Redpath enjoyed an influential debut and Stuart Hogg was world class at full-back as strutting Scotland were given the freedom to roam Twickenham.

But Scotland lacked the points to reflect their dominance, Duhan Van Der Merwe’s try as part of an 8-6 half-time lead an inadequate return given they had put England into a straitjacket.

Russell was at the heart of their brilliant display, keeping the home defence guessing with an array of kicks and passes, but there also were erratic moments, most notably a trip on Ben Youngs punished by a yellow card.

Lions coach Warren Gatland was watching from the stands and he will view the Racing 92 magician as a clear winner in his duel with Owen Farrell.

Scotland’s mastery of almost every department continued after the interval yet they struggled to make the impact on the scoreboard needed to kill off England, who were bitterly disappointing.

Almost a fifth of Eddie Jones’ team had not played since France were edged in sudden death 62 days ago and while the inactivity of the Saracens contingent contributed to the lack of intensity, England had more pressing problems.

Conceding four penalties in the first five minutes alone, one of them resulting in three points for Russell, led to a dismal start and the indiscipline became a debilitating theme of the match.

Twice Maro Itoje charged down kicks by scrum-half Ali Price inside the Scots’ 22 as the visitors invited pressure, but they were rare positive moments for the red rose.

Redpath was already making his presence felt at inside centre, most notably by catching a long line-out throw and running hard into the heart of the home defence.

Russell was beginning to weave his magic with his passing already making a difference and there was another swing towards Scotland when he was chopped down by a swinging arm from Billy Vunipola, who was sent to the sin bin.

Showing no ill effects, Russell lofted the ball into the left corner where the bounce just deceived Van Der Merwe, but soon after the wing’s powerful run swept him to the line and he was able to touch down.

The first half hour had been dominated by Scotland, but England clawed their way back into contention with successive penalties by Farrell.

Russell saw a yellow card for his trip on Youngs, his spell in the sin bin spanning either half, but when he returned the Scots were pounding away at the home line and he slotted a penalty.

Hogg weaved his way into space and the difference in attacking ability between the rivals was stark as England struggled to fire a shot.

Two huge touchfinders from Hogg pinned the champions back as rain began to fall, but the Exeter full-back was unable to land a long-range penalty that would have propelled his side eight points ahead.

It was not needed, however, as England could just not muster any meaningful response and Scotland’s players celebrated noisily when the final whistle blew.

Reaction

Gregor Townsend believes Scotland’s first win at Twickenham since 1983 could be the nation’s greatest ever Test victory.

An inspired Scotland stunned insipid England with a gritty performance, shaking off Finn Russell’s yellow card to prevail 11-6 in west London.

Duhan Van Der Merwe’s try and Russell’s two penalties ensured Scotland claimed just their fifth win at Twickenham, condemning error-ridden England to a deserved defeat.

A delighted head coach Townsend paid tribute to his focused and accurate side, accepting he knows this result will immediately go down in history.

“I came down here a number of times as a player and then as a coach and hadn’t come away with anything,” said Townsend.

“So this result is definitely up there with the best ever results in our history, and certainly myself in my coaching career.

“Today the players were outstanding in really tricky conditions.

“It was wet the whole game, really heavy rain in the second half.

“So to win in these conditions against a very good side is a fantastic achievement.”

Townsend’s Scotland have battled through patchy results and performances in pushing beyond the 2019 World Cup, but now the former Test fly-half insists his squad are ready to step up and be counted.

“We all enjoyed last year, you learn in defeats, grow as a team in adversity,” said Townsend.

“We had moments before and after the World Cup, and that’s how we’ve been shaped as a group of players and coaches.

“It was so good to see the players play so well in the period of Finn Russell’s yellow card, and we won that 10 minutes 3-0.

“It wasn’t just one way of playing, we had a lot of variety and a lot of maturity in our play.”

Captain Stuart Hogg admitted his team had been confident they could pull off a first win at Twickenham for Scotland in 38 years.

The Exeter full-back also labelled the victory as a boost for a nation just as ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic as the rest of the UK.

“We’d talked a lot in the last couple of weeks about lifting a nation, and I believe we’ve done that today,” said Hogg.

“This win is a huge deal to us all. During the week we said that if we got everything right on both sides of the ball we’d give ourselves a chance, and we did exactly that.

“I’m incredibly proud of the boys. We believed we could dome down here and win, but we kept that to ourselves.

“It was incredible for us.”

Eddie Jones admitted chastened England will never come to terms with the defeat.

“You never atone for a game like this. This stays with you for a long time,” head coach Jones said.

“But the most important thing is that we get together and we find a way to improve our performance and play like England do when we come up against Italy next week.”

Highlights

England v Scotland (6-11) | Guinness Six Nations HIGHLIGHTS | ITV Sport

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