The bragging rights earned by the Scots' senior brethren in capturing the Calcutta Cup earlier this year were enhanced by Simon Danielli's decisive second-half try, much to the delight of their coach Steve Bates, a one-time England A scrum-half.
In this first meeting of the auld enemies at A level for three years, the Saxons were more quixotically named than the Scots but less experienced on paper, with three capped players in their 22 compared to their opponents' 11.
The Scotland full-back Calum MacRae kicked a fifth-minute penalty for the only score of the first half, during which England had two principal problems. At the breakdown they rarely got on the right side of the New Zealand referee Gary Wise. And when they were able to recycle possession the next pass was too often spilled or poorly delivered, negating the threat of their big outside backs.
The Scots' tackling had plenty to do with it, although Ross Beattie was penalised for killing a ruck in the last play before the interval, only for England's Dave Walder to send the kick wide.
MacRae collected his second penalty in the 52nd minute, and it needed England's powerful scrum to earn them a penalty try converted by Walder.
The advantage was short-lived. With 63 minutes gone the Scotland fly-half Phil Godman's inside pass to Beattie helped release Danielli for a 30-metre run-in and MacRae converted.
The Saxons' hopes of winning Pool A and contesting the final in Edmonton on 17 June rest on Canada defeating Scotland in Ottawa on Wednesday.
England Saxons: M Horak; D Armitage, B Johnston, S Vesty (A Crockett, 60), C Bell; D Walder; P Hodgson (capt); D Barnes, J Buckland (D Paice, 60), S Turner (M Ward, 75), J Hudson, D Schofield, A Beattie (K Roche, 60), K Horstmann, D Seymour (B Woods, 75).
Scotland A: C MacRae; S Danielli, G Morrison, M Dey, R Lamont; P Godman, R Lawson (capt); A Jacobsen, F Thomson (A Kelly, 66), C Noon (A Dickinson, 40), C Hamilton (A Hall, 61), M Rennie, R Beattie (S Gray, 71), D Callam, A Strokosch (A Wilson, 61).
Referee: G Wise (New Zealand).Reuse content