Scotland vs England, Sat, 06/02/2016 - 16:50

Scotland
9 - 15
Full time
England
Saturday, 6 February, 2016 - 16:50 | BT Murrayfield

Scotland lost out to England 15-9 in their opening RBS Six Nations match at BT Murrayfield in a physical battle played out in front of a sell-out crowd, which meant that the visitors retained the Calcutta Cup.

England scored two tries to Scotland’s nil with George Kruis and Jack Nowell touching down. Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw kicked all of the hosts’ points.

Kruis went over in the first half with Nowell cementing England’s lead in the second before Scotland began to pressurise in the final 20 minutes.

A string of penalties prevented the home side from a final score with England maintaining possession in the closing stages to see out the game.

Scotland Head Coach, Vern Cotter, said: “It was a frustrating night and we probably weren’t accurate enough. We created opportunities to win the game but we just couldn’t keep the ball."

“As a team we can get so much better. In the second period we never got out of our half and there were a couple of lost balls.

“We intercepted the ball in the second half and if we had ran the full length of the pitch then perhaps we would have won the game.”

Early mistakes from both sides dominated proceedings in the opening exchanges but it was England who exerted the majority of pressure with several attacks from deep.

A penalty from the Scottish lineout led to English possession with their forwards capitalising on a scrum metres out from which George Ford sent a drop goal attempt wide.

Nowell and Anthony Watson looked lively with Nowell sending a kick through and chasing effectively to force Stuart Hogg over the line for an English scrum five metres out.

That was the platform for No 8 Billy Vunipola to pick up and set up Danny Care who found Kruis who crashed over to the right of the posts before Owen Farrell converted in the 14th minute.

Scotland responded with several attacking phases before Laidlaw slotted a penalty to get his team on the scoreboard in the 16th minute.

The hosts continued to pressurise through Mark Bennett, Tommy Seymour and Hogg before another penalty opportunity presented itself for Laidlaw, with the scrum-half narrowly missing as the game approached the half hour mark.

Laidlaw combined well with Seymour on the attack before a penalty was awarded minutes before half-time and the Scottish captain sliced the posts.

Out-half Finn Russell pulled the strings as the game approached the interval and attempted a drop goal after several drives from the forwards before sending it wide for a half-time score of 6-7.

Half-time: Scotland 6-7 England

A missed opportunity before half-time and despite early possession in the second-half Scotland could not dent England’s claustrophobic defence.

England were soon awarded a penalty after the break with Scotland collapsing the maul but Farrell missed to keep the teams within a point of one another.

England struck, however, in the 50th minute as Ford went on the attack in the Scottish 22 and then found replacement Mako Vunipola who sent the ball out to Farrell, as Nowell collected to sprint for the score in the right corner.

Farrell missed the conversion and minutes later Russell intercepted the ball for Scotland deep in his own territory only to kick to touch seemingly unaware of Hogg lurking outside him on the left.

England continued to pressurise and a penalty was awarded which Farrell goaled to extend the visitors' lead as the game entered into the final 20 minutes.

The final five minutes saw Scotland give their all with forwards and backs combining in a vain attempt to breach the English defence before a knock-on gave possession back to their opponents.

Dylan Hartley’s men took this opportunity to counter and found themselves deep inside Scotland’s 22 with the clock counting down inexorably to a close defeat.

Scotland captain, Laidlaw, said: “We felt as though we put a lot of pressure on them in the first-half but we needed to execute better.

“We’ve got to be brutal with each other next week as we ran into touch and gave away a couple of dumb penalties. All of these things add up.

“We’ve got to learn quickly as we know this tournament is hard. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves.”

Full-time: Scotland 9-15 England

RBS Man of the Match: Billy Vunipola (England)

Scotland: Stuart Hogg; Sean Maitland, Mark Bennett, Matt Scott, Tommy Seymour; Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN; Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Willem Nel, Richie Gray, Jonny Gray, John Barclay, John Hardie, David Denton. Replacements: Stuart McInally for Ford (65’), Gordon Reid for Dickinson (57’), Zander Fagerson [Scotland cap No: 1074] for Nel (69’), Tim Swinson for J Gray (70’), Blair Cowan for Barclay (59’), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Duncan Weir, Duncan Taylor for Seymour (66’).

England: Mike Brown; Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell, Jack Nowell; George Ford, Danny Care; Joe Marler, Dylan Hartley CAPTAIN, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, George Kruis, Chris Robshaw, James Haskell, Billy Vunipola. Replacements: Jamie George for Hartley (77’), Mako Vunipola for Marler (49’), Paul Hill, Courtney Lawes for Launchbury (47’), Jack Clifford for Robshaw (69’), Ben Youngs for Care (54’), Ollie Devoto, Alex Goode.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)

Team lineups

Scotland
England

Backs

Backs

Forwards

Forwards

Substitutes

Substitutes

RBS 6 Nations Championship 2016 latest results

France 21 v 31 England
Ireland 35 v 25 Scotland
Wales 67 v 14 Italy
Scotland 29 v 18 France
England 25 v 21 Wales