England stunned by Scotland as first match of Six Nations defence ends in defeat

Scotland ended 38 years of hurt by beating England at Twickenham for the first time since 1983.

Cheers echoed out around an empty Twickenham as the whistle blew on an historic afternoon for Stuart Hogg’s side.

Nobody could say they did not deserve a victory far more commanding than the scoreline suggested.

A first half try by winger Duhan Van der Merwe and two penalties from fly-half Finn Russell were enough to depose the reigning Six Nations champions, who did not fire a shot throughout.

Woeful England had come into the game insisting there was no chance of rustiness despite a third of their team having not played for two months.

They didn’t sound convincing saying it and they looked even less so half an hour in with Scotland eight points up and deserving of a lead twice as big.

It was not only their Saracens quintet looking undercooked. England lacked any sort of cohesion. Pinned in their own half their only response was to haemorrhage penalties.

When Billy Vunipola was sin-binned for a high shot on 23 minutes and Van der Merwe scored on the left soon after, Eddie Jones’ men looked in a world of bother.

Russell was pulling the strings superbly in front of watching Lions head coach Warren Gatland and Scotland boss Gregor Townsend was doubtless reflecting what a difference two years makes.

On their last visit to Twickenham the tartan army trailed 31-0 in a first half of unending horror. This time the boot was on the other foot.

But Scotland hadn’t gone so long without an away win over England by being plain unlucky. They have always had an ability to shoot themselves in the foot.

So it proved as either side of Rory Sutherland being pinged for not rolling away to allow Farrell’s boot onto the scoreboard, Russell fluffed a conversion and was then sin-binned for a silly trip on Ben Youngs.

Again Farrell obliged but although a two-point lead was scant reward for Scotland’s first half effort they kept their chins up and came again with the restart.

Russell returned to the fray to kick them back into the lead and then the rest of his team mates piled in to defend the lead until the end and see off gun-shy England.

ENGLAND – Pens: Farrell 2.

SCOTLAND – Try: Van der Merwe. Pens: Russell 2.

Source: Read Full Article