11 Mar MATCH REPORT | England 61-21 Scotland
Scotland’s losing run at Twickenham continued today after suffering a 61-21 loss to England in the RBS 6 Nations.
The hosts played to their strengths with powerful, direct running and no quarter given at the breakdown to maintain their 34-year unbeaten home record versus Scotland.
They scored seven tries to secure the 2017 RBS 6 Nations Championship with a round to spare and the Calcutta Cup, with a potential Grand Slam on the table in Dublin next weekend.
Centre Jonathan Joseph scored a hat-trick of tries inside 45 minutes and Owen Farrell slotted 11 attempts at goal from 12.
Scotland scored three tries themselves, with centre Huw Jones touching down twice from short range and prop Gordon Reid crossing the whitewash for the first time in Scotland colours.
But the pre-match optimism from the visitors, who wanted to bring positive, attacking rugby to England and challenge the reigning Champions, failed to materialise as the scoreboard quickly stretched out of sight.
The tone for the match was set in the opening two minutes when hooker Fraser Brown was sin-binned for upending Elliott Daly. During his ten minutes off the pitch England ran up a 10-0 lead.
England kicked the penalty conceded by Brown to just outside the Scotland 22 and scored from first-phase ball off the lineout with Jonathan Joseph finding space in midfield with less than three minutes on the clock. A Farrell penalty shortly after made it 10-0 on six minutes and any talk of England being slow starters was being quickly rubbished.
As Scotland looked to settle they lost full-back Stuart Hogg to an HIA on 17 minutes, then his replacement Mark Bennett to a knee injury less than four minutes later.
Scotland scrum-half Ali Price went to the wing with Tommy Seymour moving to full-back as Henry Pyrgos came off the bench.
Farrell kept England’s scoreboard moving too, kicking a couple of penalties in quick succession as Scotland fought to secure ball and a platform.
England were beginning to find a clinical rhythm and on 24 minutes Joseph scored his second try again off first phase ball and dotting down under the posts.
Scotland rallied though and Gordon Reid scored on 27 minutes to get the men in blue on the board after a lineout in England’s 22 was taken on by the forwards who drove over from close range for Reid to finish.
England pressure forced Scotland to concede further penalties as tempers frayed, with Farrell adding another three points on the half hour, and then kicked the Scots back into their own 22 after another infringement.
Joseph turned provider this time with his break from the resulting lineout through the line allowed Antony Watson (now a full-time replacement for Daly) in support to take a short pass and score. Farrell converted (30-7).
Half-time: England 30-7 Scotland
Scotland’s fortunes worsened in the second-half with Joseph crossing for a hat-trick and England’s fourth and a bonus-point try in the opening two minutes.
A further reshuffle was then called for in the Scottish backline after Seymour was body-checked by England number eight Nathan Hughes as the winger chased his own ‘up and under’ kick. Seymour left the field for an HIA assessment and Duncan Weir took the field to be deployed at full-back.
Another Farrell penalty shortly after brought up the 40-point mark for England before Scotland replied, again through Huw Jones who muscled his way after some patient phases in the home side’s 22 (40-14).
The returning replacement Billy Vuniploa then scored just seven minutes later from a lineout drive, which Farrell converted (47-17) before the visitors lost another, Ryan Wilson, to an HIA on the hour, which saw Edinburgh Rugby back row Cornell du Preez take the field for his Scotland debut.
The hour mark saw the most productive period for Scotland with Tim Visser making yards behind the English defence to give Scotland territory in the English 22, which they recycled patiently and were eventually rewarded when Jones dotted down and Finn Russell converted (47-21).
England though were not in a charitable mood and Danny Care scored two tries in the final 10 minutes to complete an historic win.
Full time: England (30) 61-21 (7) Scotland
ENGLAND: 15. Mike Brown, 14. Jack Nowell, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Owen Farrell, 11. Elliot Daly, 10. George Ford, 9. Ben Youngs, 1. Joe Marler, 2. Dylan Hartley CAPTAIN, 3. Dan Cole, 4. Joe Launchbury, 5. Courtney Lawes, 6. Maro Itoje, 7. James Haskell, 8. Nathan Hughes. Substitutes: 16. Jamie George, 17. Mako Vunipola, 18. Kyle Sinckler, 19. Tom Wood, 20. Billy Vunipola, 21. Danny Care, 22. Ben Te’o, 23. Anthony Watson.
SCOTLAND: 15. Stuart Hogg; 14. Tommy Seymour, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Alex Dunbar, 11. Tim Visser; 10. Finn Russell, 9. Ali Price; 1. Gordon Reid, 2. Fraser Brown, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Richie Gray, 5. Jonny Gray, 6. John Barclay CAPTAIN, 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Ryan Wilson. Substitutes: 16. Ross Ford on for Brown (44′), 17. Allan Dell on for Reid (44′), 18. Simon Berghan on for Fagerson (62′), 19. Tim Swinson on for J.Gray (74′), 20. Cornell Du Preez on for Wilson (62′), 21. Henry Pyrgos on for Bennett (22′), 22. Duncan Weir on for Seymour (45′), 23. Mark Bennett on for Hogg (18′).