They led until the 79th minute against Wales in Cardiff and until the 67th minute against Italy in Rome. Now the challenge for Scotland is to do it all over again, to get into a potential winning position in Edinburgh on Saturday – and this time stay there until the digits on the Murrayfield match-clock turn to 00.00.
"The team has played some good rugby and we have been creating chances," Andy Robinson, Scotland's head coach, said yesterday. "We just need to take that next step and finish off a game." Saturday's game for the team sitting at the foot of the Six Nations table, without a win after three matches, just happens to be against England, the country Robinson served as player, as assistant coach and as head coach.
According to the former Bath flanker, "it is just another game", although you would be hard pressed to find anyone on either side of Hadrian's textbook defensive wall with a more burning desire to win it. In 2006 Robinson went into the Murrayfield Calcutta Cup fixture with Grand Slam ambitions and ended up on the wrong side of an 18-12 scoreline. It was the beginning of the end for him as England' coach.
On that occasion five Chris Paterson penalties, a Dan Parks drop goal and a Herculean defensive effort won the day for the Scots. Four years on, Robinson has made just the one change in personnel in pursuit of the finishing touch that proved elusive in Rome a fortnight ago.
Edinburgh's Nick De Luca comes in at outside centre, with Max Evans moving out to the left wing and Simon Danielli starting on the bench. "Max has been our most potent attacker and we want to see the qualities that Nick can bring to this game," Robinson said.Reuse content