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  1. #1
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    Rugby Six Nations

    Scotland 25 England 13: Three first-half tries stun England at Murrayfield



    Scotland captain John Barclay lifts the Calcutta Cup CREDIT: AFP




    24 FEBRUARY 2018 • 7:11PM
    Never mind the Siberian ‘Beast from the East,’ weather that is headed this way, Scotland managed to send a chill deep into the marrow of English rugby with an all-encompassing victory that has put England’s defence of their Six Nations title into cold storage.
    The ruins of England's Grand Slam ambitions also lay scattered across the Murrayfield turf. There will be shivers of apprehension on the World Cup front too for this showed that England are fallible, particularly at the breakdown where they were wholly eclipsed, a masterclass from the John Barclay-led Scotland exposing their limitations.
    England’s discipline was woeful, conceding 13 penalties, turnovers, too, and having Sam Underhill sin-binned. Homeward go England ‘tae think again. It was a sobering experience.
    It was Scotland’s first Calcutta Cup win in a decade and thoroughly deserved. A Scottish uprising against the English? They quite like those sort of things in these parts. It was no surprise that it was thunderously acclaimed. The Scots, so hapless in Cardiff, were heroes to a man.
    They played with the zest and inventiveness that had troubled New Zealand and Australia in November. Scotland went missing at the start of the championship but have rediscovered that bracing identity. This was their sixth championship victory in a row at Murrayfield. They travel to Ireland next.


    Huw Jones scored two of Scotland's three first-half tries CREDIT: PA

    There are twists and turns to come yet in this 2018 NatWest Six Nations. Scotland are decisive players, rolling back the stone from that dreadful opening day to rise again. For that, much credit, and to their coaching team, too, led by the impressive Gregor Townsend, his team playing in the image of the man – vibrant and assured.
    There were stand-out performances from fly-half Finn Russell and centre Huw Jones, the back-row en bloc, warriors in dark blue. The pack, too, stood its ground. From the usual annual dirge in this fixture to a delight, a full-bore, full-blooded encounter with thrust and parry as well as no little skill. Passion is a given in this fixture and there were reports of a scuffle in the tunnel after the warm-up with England’s Owen Farrell involved.
    Flaky Finn or Fabulous Finn – which was it to be? The question had been posed throughout the build-up and there was a resounding answer. Russell ruled the roost. It was a seminal performance, replete with daring and perception.
    The Paris-bound fly-half had been mercurial in this championship, capable of foul as well as fair deeds, a wonderful impish spirit but inconsistent. There was little point in urging restraint for that is to deny the very thing that makes him a special talent. And that was just as well as events turned out for Russell was a pivotal influence. He was given licence to thrill and thrill he did.




    It doesn’t pay to take your eyes off the 25 year-old playmaker. There is a sense of possibility in so much of what he does. It was that way in the 15th minute when Russell, under fierce pressure from Owen Farrell, dinked a kick through into no-man’s land between attack and defence. The ball bobbed and ricocheted.
    Scotland centre Jones, as has been the case this championship, was first to react, grabbing the ball and scooting over the try-line.
    The score was greeted uproariously, fittingly enough given it was the first try by Scotland in this fixture in 14 years.
    It was no surprise that Scotland played with huge heart but it was the clinical precision of their play that was so marked and so tellingly. And in Jones they had a man at the top of his game. Russell was the prompt, Jones the executioner. The 24 year-old was again on hand in the 31st minute, holding his line out wide to receive an audacious floated pass from Russell on the 22.
    Away went Jones, deep into England territory. He was eventually hauled down only for Scotland to recycle quickly. Hooker Stuart McInally took it on with great purpose, England back-pedalled and Scotland took advantage with the ball fired wide to Sean Maitland who dived in at the corner.




    If that score rattled the Murrayfield rafters, the noise was seismic when Jones surged between Owen Farrell and Nathan Hughes for his second try two minutes from half-time. There is no player more finely-tuned to the potency of the angled attack than Jones. Vision and timing and nerve and pace, packaged to perfection. Greig Laidlaw’s conversion took the score to 22-6. Murrayfield was stunned, staggered and delirious.
    This was a testing moment for England. They pride themselves on being able to deal with adversity. This was a crisis with knobs-on. England did at least show spunk, indicating very early in the second-half that they were up for the fight.
    Farrell scampering through unchallenged within four minutes of the re-start, Mako Vunipola having dented the defence with a rumble. English hopes flickered and came close to being fully ignited with two possible tries within the next minutes being overruled by Nigel Owens and his officials.
    Danny Care was racing away for an interception try only for play to be called back for a penalty against Joe Launchbury and then a breakaway try by Farrell was rendered void for a knock-on in the tackle by Courtney Lawes far up the field. On such margins.
    That was England’s chance, and it was gone. Their woes were compounded when replacement flanker, Sam Underhill, was sin-binned in the 67th minute for a shoulder-led, no-arms tackle on prop, Jamie Bhatti. Russell kicked the penalty goal.
    England pressed in desperation, Scotland held firm and Murrayfield erupted, warming the cockles, with no sympathy for England’s Big Freeze.

  2. #2
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    Better for England to learn this lesson now, before the RWC starts in Japan. Being well beaten by Scotland will teach us some humility too.

    Well played the Jocks

  3. #3
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    Eddie Jones must be miffed though.

    The Aussie has built up a cloak of invincibility and becoming the darling of English Rugby.

    Well played Scotland!

  4. #4
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    So no fucker was interested in this particular peanut hugging till the sweaties got lucky.


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    So no fucker was interested in this particular peanut hugging till the sweaties got lucky.

    Most of the rugby fans no longer post here, the Brits anyway. So I presumed if I started a thread a few weeks back I'd just be talking to myself with the odd pointless post thrown in by simple Sybil.

  6. #6
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    The French in Paris next for us. What an interesting side they are this year.

  7. #7
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    French have seriousness fitness issues, even the English should be able to beat them if still in touch with 20 minutes to go.

    Teams have figured out how to play against England in this championship, Wales put up a good show and could have won against them, even Italy scored a couple of tries against England.
    Independence day - June 23 for Brits.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Rugby: This Scottish team could beat the All Blacks, says former England test first-five - NZ Herald



    Bless!

    So Scotland played well against England (and they did) and beating a team that hasn't beaten the All Blacks in ages means they could've beaten the All Blacks... !?

    They sure do love seeing a swallow and shouting about "Summer!" oop Norf!

  9. #9
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    Nearly beat you last year at Murrayfield, if weren't for the fact you're cheating bastards and had a ref who didn't give you the 4+ yellow cards you deserved we may well have done.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buriramboy
    Nearly beat you last year at Murrayfield
    Shoulda, coulda, woulda... Didn't.

    Never have.



    Quote Originally Posted by buriramboy
    if weren't for the fact you're cheating bastards and had a ref who didn't give you the 4+ yellow cards you deserved we may well have done
    Yes that's right... There's a massive conspiracy between refs worldwide and the IRB to ensure that a South Pacific archipelago nation remains #1.

    It's the only reason they keep winning. The only thing that makes sense.

    At least you've got your off-field moral victories though.

  11. #11
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    We've just been unlucky with refs over the last few years with terrible decisions going back to the quarter final at the last world cup. Last year against NZ the ref bottled it, gave you 2 deserved yellow cards but should have been 4+ and a red early in the first half for which he only awarded a penalty. Was fun to watch NZ panic in the last 10 minutes though giving away penalty after penalty against a country with only 2 professional teams but if gotta continuously cheat to win fill yer boots.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Cool story bro...

    NZ Vs. Scotland:
    Played: 31
    Lost: 0

  13. #13
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    Didn't you watch the game last year then? Scotland are currently going through an over achieving period in rugby, it won't last but will be enjoyed while it does. As said previously we only have 2 professional teams in Glasgow and Edinburgh compared to Ireland and Wales having 4 each then you have England and France with their whole leagues and the SH set ups. Anyway enough pingpong for me as it gets tiresome rather quickly these days.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buriramboy
    Didn't you watch the game last year then?
    Yep, I did. All Blacks won 22 - 17 in Edinburgh.

    Apparently Scotland won the moral / off-field victory though.

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