England vs Scotland, Sat, 14/03/2015 - 17:00

England
25 - 13
Full time
Scotland
Saturday, 14 March, 2015 - 17:00 | Twickenham

If England and Scotland were both keen to to make a quick impression and bounce back after both losing in the previous round of the RBS Six Nations then this game started to script.

A frantic ‘hare ‘em, scare ‘em’ series of plays kicked off proceedings, creating quick- ball and gaps for England to bring early pressure on Scotland, who were looking for their first win at Twickenham since 1983.

Early momentum paid off and it took only five minutes for England centre Jonathan Joseph to power through the Scotland defence for the opening score of the day.

Scotland took the opportunity to re-group under the posts with captain Grieg Laidlaw urging calm, while stand-off George Ford converted to put England 7-0 up.

England weren’t satisfied, and it required a superb Stuart Hogg cover tackle to successfully chase down opposite number Mike Brown, who broke free, to make it within metres from the Scotland line as the home side scented a chance to shake off their Dublin blues.

Scotland’s progress this campaign though has been built on a much improved defence, and from that foundation Hogg and Mark Bennett combined well down the wing to remind England of their attacking threat.

Scotland built further momentum from penalties won at scrum-time, when defending on their five-metre line, and this spurred on the away side to begin a period of concerted pressure on England.

Tommy Seymour threatened out wide and as Scotland kept the ball for longer periods the pressure on England started to grow.

Attacking in the England half, through good phase play, settled the early nerves with positive and varied attacks for the visitors.

England’s back three still posed a threat and Jack Nowell made a quick break through the line, but was turned over and Bennett kicked through for Seymour to chase.

Euan Murray then forced a knock-on and the first-half momentum began to shift to the visitors.

Attacking in the right areas was paying off for Scotland and a series of quick-ball phases, following a Jonny Gray break in the England 22, enabled Laidlaw to go wide to Bennett, who raced over the line to score on 22 minutes.

Laidlaw bisected the sticks from the touchline to tie the scores at 7-7.

England’s back-three and pace in the centres remained a threat and Burrell again was denied a try after Haskell’s forward pass was rightly judged to be forward on 31 mins.

The resulting scrum drew a penalty for Scotland giving an attacking line-out in England’s 22.

Scotland again were playing with confidence and pace, stringing together phases and causing the home side problems.

George Ford slotted a penalty for England, which Greig Laidlaw equalled, and then beat, after prop Dan Cole was forced to infringe a few metres from the England line to hand Laidlaw the chance to kick for a deserved half-time lead of 13-10, bringing a quiet confidence to the visitors who visibly re-grouped before walking off for the break together.

Half-time: England 10-13 Scotland

The mid-match report was positive for Scotland, their penalty count was low, their attacking shape was in place and their scramble defence was neutering England’s pace out wide.

The break however also gave England a chance to re-group and they started the second-half as the first with fast, precise play.

Their aggression at the breakdown reaped early rewards and George Ford broke through the line to score under the posts after just three minutes, re-establishing the home advantage with a conversion to 17-13.

An England counter attack from the kick-off drew a penalty at the subsequent line-out which Ford slotted to take England out to a 20-13 lead.

Ten quick points in 10 minutes effectively halted Scotland’s progress.

Pinned into their own half for much of the second-half, Scotland showed all the character and spirit the coaches and players had promised in the pre-match build-up.

Unfortunately the chance of taking the Calcutta Cup back to Scotland seemed more distant as the half wound to a close, as they struggled for the field position that allowed the opportunity to threaten the England whitewash.

The final blow was delivered by Jack Nowell try but a missed conversion confirmed the game at 80 mins with England winning 25-13.

Full-time: England (10) 25-13 (13) Scotland

 

 

England: 15 Mike Brown; 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jack Nowell; 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Joe Marler, 2 Dylan Hartley, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Dave Attwood, 5 Courtney Lawes, 6 James Haskell, 7 Chris Robshaw, 8 Billy Vunipola. Substitutes: 16 Tom Youngs for Hartley (50’), 17 Mako Vunipola for Marler (59’), 18 Kieran Brookes for Cole (66’), 19 Geoff Parling for Attwood (50’), 20 Tom Wood for Haskell (66’), 21 Richard Wigglesworth for Youngs (66’), 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Billy Twelvetrees

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg; 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tommy Seymour; 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw; 1 Alasdair Dickinson, 2 Ross Ford, 3 Euan Murray, 4 Jim Hamilton, 5 Jonny Gray, 6 Rob Harley, 7 Blair Cowan, 8 David Denton. Substitutes: 16 Fraser Brown for Ford (59’), 17 Ryan Grant for Dickinson (59’), 18 Geoff Cross for Murray (54’), 19 Tim Swinson for Hamilton (35’, returned on 41’, back on, on 47’), 20 Johnnie Beattie for Harley on 66’), 21 Adam Ashe for Denton (54’), 22 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne for Russell (71’), 23 Greig Tonks on for Scott (41’).

Team lineups

England
Scotland

Backs

15 Mike Brown
14 Anthony Watson
13 Jonathan Joseph
12 Luther Burrell
11 Jack Nowell
10 George Ford
9 Ben Youngs

Forwards

1 Joe Marler
2 Dylan Hartley
3 Dan Cole
4 Dave Attwood
5 Courtney Lawes
6 James Haskell
7 Chris Robshaw
8 Billy Vunipola

Substitutes

16 Tom Youngs
17 Mako Vunipola
18 Kieran Brookes
19 Geoff Parling
20 Tom Wood
21 Richard Wigglesworth
22 Danny Cipriani
23 Billy Twelvetrees
Man of the match: 
Ben Youngs

RBS 6 Nations Championship 2015 table

PosTeamPWLDPts
1Ireland54108
2England54108
3Wales54108
4France52304
5Italy51402
6Scotland50500

RBS 6 Nations Championship 2015 latest results

England 55 v 35 France
Scotland 10 v 40 Ireland
Italy 20 v 61 Wales
Italy 0 v 29 France
England 25 v 13 Scotland