England stumbled to an unconvincing win over a brave Scotland side at Murrayfield for the first time in eight years after a Charlie Hodgson try, seconds into the second-half, gave the English side a 13-6 win.
Two Dan Parks’ penalties, in a dull first-half that lacked cohesion and skill from both teams, cancelled out England debut Owen Farrell’s solitary kick to leave the Scots 6-3 up at the break.
However, only seconds after the re-start Hodgson blocked Parks’ attempted clearance kick near the posts and dived on the loose ball to give the visiting team a 10-6 lead after Farrell added the extras.
Scotland threw everything they had at the English defence for the remainder of the game but not even Man of the match, the rampaging debut No.8 David Benton, could muster any score.
Replacement Grieg Laidlaw thought he had got the elusive try for the Scots only for the TMO to correctly rule it out. New England Coach Stuart Lancaster gave seven players their first taste of Six Nations action and their inexperienced showed as the half progressed.
However, England withstood all the Scottish attacks and, as the home side ran out of steam and ideas, Farrell coolly kicked his second penalty ten minutes from the end to seal the win.
Scotland 6 – 13 England, 5pm
Scotland: Dan Parks (Pen, Pen)
England: Owen Farrell (Pen, Pen, Conversion), Hodgson (Try)
80mins Game over. Lucky England have won for the first time in eight year’s in Murrayfield in an unconvincing performance but a huge win all the same. Heartbreak for the Scots in a what-might-have been game. The Scots lack the necessary world class quality, in the back-line, to break the game-line when needed. Next up for England is Italy away and Scotland also face Wales away. One thing is for certain we were not looking at two sides who will compete for the Six Nations title.
80mins Time has elapsed, Scotland in possession out side England 22′
79mins David Denton has been named man of the match as they attempt one last attack on the English line. But another knock-on has let them down, advantage to England. Time almost up here.
76mins Scotland now need a converted try to level the game. Highly unlikely as England look to shore up their defense with more fresh replacements.
74mins Penalty to England and this kick will surely settle it. The Scots attempted some open rugby passing it around their own 22′ but they must realize they are not France or Wales. They just don’t have the skill-set to do that. Farrell to put the game beyond doubt.
70mins It didn’t have the distance but Scotland are now back in their own half. more booing form the crowd, seems unfair to the kicker.
70mins Penalty to the English. Farrell going to attempt a long kick at goal.
69mins England have now given seven players first caps in a Six Nations game after a raft or replacements happened. Stuart Lancaster must be wondering if he had the more experienced players who retired would they have already seen out this game?
66mins Mike Blair gets caught in two minds and two Scottish players cross, penalty for England. Another chance goes awry. They are getting closer though.
63mins What a chance for Ross Renie to set up a teammate for a Scottish try. He cut clean through the English defense only for the flanker to delay his pass which was subsequently knocked on by Foden. scrum for Scotland in England’s 22′. Plenty of stoppages now due to players going down injured.
63mins NO TRY. A let off for England. Can the Scots somehow get a try and go on to win a game they deserve!? A 22′ drop-out for England ensues. It’s still 10-6 to England.
62mins We are going again to the TMO for a possible Scottish try but doesn’t look like one. But a big decision to be made here.
59 Mins Mike Blair, Andy Kellock, Grieg Laidlaw and John Barclay all come for Scotland as they push on for scores. England are seriously on the back foot here. Scotland are deep in English 22′ and are grinding their way forward. 5 meters form the line.
56 Mins Richie Grey just broke that game line but failed to hold onto the ball. Scrum for England inside their own 22′. The Scottish lock made some good ground but the support was lacking.
55 Mins England just turned over a ruck after good play from Scotland. the English need to be patient and keep their discipline to win this game. Scotland just can’t seem to break the game line.
52 Mins Denton has just made a try saving tackle on the wing. The big Number 8 was caught out by a Hodgson kick into the corner for Strettl but Denton was equal to it and even forced a turnover.
50 Mins Scotland’s response has been admirable. They are pressurizing the English deep in the English half but they need to convert this possession into high scores.
47 Mins Scotland’s new No.8 David Denton looks one for the future. He runs with ball in hand with pace, strength and is a hard man to tackle. Ball in England’s 22′ now.
45 Mins A break in play here as Scotland have the ball going forward.They need cool heads because they are only four points behind but don’t look like scoring a try.
42 Mins Scotland have been rattled here. Number of mistakes already. England with their tails up will be looking to compund Scotland’s misery.
41 Mins What a start to the second half. Scotland will be gutted. Need to get back into this immediately.
40 Mins Almost instantly we are going to the TMO. Possible try for England after Hodgson blocks Parks’ kick. Should be a try. Yes it’s a TRY. Farrell adds the extras.
SECOND-HALF KICKS OFF
40 Mins A knock-on ends the first half. Two penalties to one to the Scots, in a bruising encounter but lacking any real quality or skill. Still, Scotland will be the happier as England look all at sea at times, no chance of them retaingn the Six Nations crown with this squad. Stay tuned for the second-half!
40 Mins The Scots trying to ease their way into drop goal territory here. Forwards are slowly bringing it
forward. 40 minute mark has passed.
38 Mins Great hands from Scotland here especailly their pack. Who knew Scotland had this quality, last attack before half ends. Park for a drop goal?
35 Mins England are on the back-foot here as Scotland are dominating and look more comfortable as a team. If only they could match their ball work with scores on the board. England have players who can score try’s from anywhere and they could be the Scots downfall come 80 minutes.
32 Mins Dan Parks gives Scotland the lead for the first time in the game.
30 Mins Stupid from England. Instead of clearing their lines, Ashton was thrown the ball from the scrum and a super tackle by Chris Cusiter forced England to give away another kick-able penalty. Good harassing from the Scottish scrum-half.
29 Mins Scotland putting the ball through hands here and somehow holding on, oh, I spoke too soon, another knock-on gives a scrum to England. Scotland will be annoyed they didn’t get more out of that phase of attacks.
25 Mins Penalty for Scotland and Dan Parks levels the game. A good series of phases form the Scots saw England run offside and Parks made no mistake from 22 yards out. Scotland never looked like scoring a try so penalties looks like their only way of getting scores today.
22 Mins Farrell finally gets the game’s first score. An easy penalty is more than the English deserve. Scotland are offering nothing going forward.
20 Mins Penalty to England for not rolling away. surely Farrell will kick this.
19 Mins Scotland get their first real meaningful penalty and Parks kicks for touch. The quick lineout was knocked on. Scrum to England. This game is becoming a war of attrition between the two packs. Both sets of backs not seeing much action.
15 Mins A quarter of an hour gone and if the first 15 minutes is anything to go by we are in for a long evening of rugby lacking quality and skill. Another penalty to England and a bit of afters but nothing serious. Charlie Hodgson kicks for touch. This game is badly in need of a score.
13 Mins Owen Farrell misses his first attempt for England on his debut. Poor form from the crowds, booing the player as he ran up to take the kick. Still no score at Murrayfield.
12 Mins A scrappy few minutes from both sides just there. Two teams still finding their feet. Farrell will have a kick at goal form just inside Scottish half. Parks attempted kick up field went straight into the arms of Ben Foden.
7 Mins England keeping Scotland in their own half. Ben Youngs dictating the play from the base of the scrum and rucks. good play from England all round. Lineout to the English on Scotland 22′
5 Mins Scotland enjoy the early exchanges but English defense stood firm. Penalty to England and Hodgson puts it into touch.
2 Mins Prop Jim Hamilton breaks the game line but England clear only for the first of many up and unders from Scotland results in a scrum to England in their half.
0 Mins Dan Parks gets the game underway.
Just going through the respective national anthems then we are off!
15 minutes to kick off at a bitterly cold Murrayfield but a new inclusion in the ground is the under-soil heating. Can Andy Robinson mastermind only his fourth win ever in the Six Nations by beating a new look English side?
15 Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), 14 Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints), 13 Brad Barritt (Saracens), 12 Owen Farrell (Saracens), 11 DavidStrettle (Saracens), 10 Charlie Hodgson (Saracens), 9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
1 Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), 2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), 3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), 4 Mouritz Botha (Saracens), 5 Tom Palmer (Stade Francais), 6 Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), 7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), 8 Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints)
16 Rob Webber (London Wasps)
17 Matt Stevens (Saracens)
18 Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
19 Ben Morgan (Scarlets)
20 Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
21 Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)
22 Mike Brown (Harlequins)
15. Rory Lamont – Glasgow Warriors, 14 Lee Jones – Edinburgh, 13 Nick De Luca – Edinburgh, 12 Sean Lamont – Scarlets, 11 Max Evans – Castres, 10. Dan Parks – Cardiff Blues, 9 Chris Cusiter – Glasgow Warriors
1. Allan Jacobsen – Edinburgh, 2. Ross Ford – Edinburgh, 3. Euan Murray – Newcastle, 4. Richie Gray – Glasgow Warriors, 5. Jim Hamilton – Gloucester, 6. Alasdair Strokosch – Gloucester, 7. Ross Rennie – Edinburgh, 8. David Denton – Edinburgh
16. Scott Lawson – Gloucester
17. Geoff Cross – Edinburgh
18. Alastair Kellock – Glasgow Warriors
19. John Barclay – Glasgow Warriors
20. Mike Blair – Edinburgh
21. Grieg Laidlaw – Edinburgh
22. Graeme Morrison – Glasgow Warriors