Red Rose up and running at Six Nations with Calcutta Cup win
Four-try England see off Scotland and set up Super Sunday in Dublin
England and Ireland began the Six Nations' Championship with a bang, scoring seven tries between them in wins over Scotland at Twickenham and Wales in Cardiff respectively, to set up an explosive meeting in Dublin next Sunday.
"Clearly we will have to make a step up," said England's head coach, Stuart Lancaster, after a 38-18 rout of the Scots that featured a debut try by the Gloucester centre Billy Twelvetrees and 18 points kicked by man of the match Owen Farrell. "We have to make sure we're ready physically, mentally and tactically. Ireland are an outstanding side, the way they finished in the autumn and the way they played in the first half against Wales. We'll enjoy this win but then it's a case of knuckling down to what will be a massive challenge."
Twelvetrees may be dropped immediately for the trip to Dublin if Lancaster decides to recall Leicester's Manu Tuilagi, who is fit again from the ankle injury that allowed a rejigged midfield of Farrell, Twelvetrees and Brad Barritt steer England to four tries against the Scots' two.
At the Millennium Stadium, Ireland's eminent centre Brian O'Driscoll showed all his old powers, scoring one try and making another for the Munster wing Simon Zebo as Ireland built a 30-3 lead, with prop Cian Healy also scoring, then hung on to inflict an eighth straight loss on Wales's ailing Six Nations champions. Warren Gatland, the British and Irish Lions head coach, was looking on as Rob Howley endured a sixth defeat out of six as the stand-in Wales coach.
England have lost on their past four Six Nations visits to Dublin, including a 24-8 thumping under Martin Johnson in 2011. But Chris Ashton, who grabbed his 17th Test try yesterday, said: "A lot's happened between then and now and it's completely different. We're different even from a year ago when Stuart became coach. We have a lot of confidence from beating New Zealand in December, and everyone's a lot more comfortable." Asked whether the midweek jibes of "arrogance" from former Scotland coach Jim Telfer had played a part, Ashton said: "We kept quiet as we always do. We tried not to focus on Scotland but on ourselves."
The interim Scotland coach, Scott Johnson, gave a bleak assessment of a team going to Italy next week with five wins and a draw in 31 Six Nations matches. "We have got to get the contact area right. There's no panacea except good old-fashioned grunt. Fairytales don't come true."
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Mario Balotelli comment: Time running out for 'lost boy' to shine at Liverpool, or anywhere
Cristiano Ronaldo applauded by Liverpool fans after master-class for Real Madrid, despite Manchester United ties
Angel Di Maria injury latest: Argentina international set to play in Manchester United vs Chelsea match
Liverpool vs Real Madrid match report: Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema run Reds ragged at Anfield
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'