The Daily Rugby

England 23-29 Scotland: Six Nations Rugby Scotland’s victory at Twickenham.

England 23-29 Scotland: Six Nations Rugby Scotland’s victory at Twickenham. Saturday’s sensational loss to Scotland was England’s fourth in their last six appearances at Twickenham but bizarrely, this time, the crowd might not mind too much.

They booed their side on their last outing in London, when they were dismal in defeat by South Africa.

That meant expectation levels were not particularly high going into the Six Nations. As captain Owen Farrell pointed out after their 29-23 defeat, the side had just 11 days in camp with their new head coach Steve Borthwick.

Six Nations Rugby

Scotland

15 Stuart Hogg Kicked well but mixed things up too. Made a great turnover on Hassell-Collins. Poor pass to Steyn with Scotland threatening. 7

14 Kyle Steyn Fine break down the right in the second half but could not gather Hogg’s return pass. Similar story with Russell’s crossfield kick. 7

13 Huw Jones Loves a try against England and got the opener by plunging on Tuipulotu’s grubber. Justified Townsend’s decision to pick him. 8

12 Sione Tuipulotu Flawless. Precise kick for Jones’s try and always picked the right pass. Polished in every facet of the game. 9

11 Duhan van der Merwe Stunning try from halfway, beating five defenders. Out of position for Malins’ first try but came up with the winning score. 8

10 Finn Russell Came under pressure when kicking from hand but looked to make things happen. Two fine passes in buildup to winning try. 8

9 Ben White Opportunistic try, finished with the zip that sums him up. Another eye-catching selection that paid off handsomely. 7

1 Pierre Schoeman Sounds as if he’s being booed, rather than affectionately lauded as “Schoe”. Made some decent yards with ball in hand. 7

2 George Turner Went for the overthrown lineout more than once but showed an invention and a confidence that coursed through this Scotland side. 7

3 WP Nel Demonstrated that there is no substitute for experience, particularly at the scrum where he got the better of Genge. 7

4 Richie Gray Preferred to his younger brother and shone, particularly in the buildup to winning try. One penalty against his name. 9

5 Grant Gilchrist Messy moment at the lineout and made little impact in the loose before he was replaced. Made his tackles though. 6

6 Jamie Ritchie (capt) Sloppy knock-on early in the first half when his side were well placed but stepped up his influence as the match wore on. 9

7 Luke Crosbie Talked up in the bulidup after a couple of excellent showings against Saracens but did not make such an impact here. 6

8 Matt Fagerson Stuck to the task well and must take credit for the way that Scotland did not panic before pouncing for the victory. 7

England

15 Freddie Steward Mopped up at back and saw an awful lot of the ball during the battle of the skies. Not yet there as a playmaking full-back. 6

14 Max Malins Ditched by Eddie Jones but fully justified his return. Took first try superbly well and if he couldn’t miss the second, they all count. 7

13 Joe Marchant A slow start and might have done better to stop Van der Merwe’s run. Could not free himself in attack. 5

12 Owen Farrell (capt) A typical centre’s performance, allowing Smith to lead from fly-half. Fiercely physical in defence, levelling Russell twice. 8

11 Ollie Hassell-Collins A bystander during the kicking exchanges, barring the odd booming left boot, but did at least settle down with a few touches. 6

10 Marcus Smith Clearly given more authority over proceedings and England did look good in attack once they stopped kicking it away. 7

9 Jack van Poortvliet An early knock-on but gave England a nice tempo and made a clever break just before he was replaced. 7

1 Ellis Genge Struggled at scrum time in the first half but improved thereafter and got the try his performance deserved. 7

2 Jamie George Looked rusty after a concussion lay-off which left him unable to train properly and had some problems with the lineout. 5

3 Kyle Sinckler Was given a talking-to by the referee but stuck to the task manfully and made some hard yards up the middle. 5

4 Maro Itoje Conceded a needless penalty but a nuisance at lineout – some things never change. Not at his most inspirational. 6

5 Ollie Chessum Discipline not perfect but has an incredible engine and can do a bit of everything. Borthwick’s kind of player. 8

6 Lewis Ludlam Hunted Russell early on and passed to Malins for his second try. In terms of effort, did not deserve to end up on losing side. 8

7 Ben Curry Missed three tackles in the first half, discipline not great and flew out of the line for White’s try. Lacked composure. 4

8 Alex Dombrandt Handling errors but showed his ability to pop up in the right place. Should have done better as last tackler for Van der Merwe’s try. 5

 

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