Scotland 0 England 20 match report: England pitch it just right to rout sad Scotland

Burrell and Brown both make it two tries in two games as unchanged side atone for France defeat

Murrayfield

Same try scorers, different result. Luther Burrell and Mike Brown had each run in their first Test tries for England eight days ago in the slender Six Nations Championship loss in France; they did the same at an overcast, thoroughly downcast Murrayfield and led a rout of sad, sad Scotland. Independence in rugby is a simple issue of blue versus white, and the miserable figures wearing navy jerseys were consigned to a first ‘nil’ against the English since 1978 in the oldest of international fixtures.

England strode uncomplicatedly one step along the road to the four wins following the Paris setback they will need to win the title. Their togetherness, dynamism and alertness at close quarters epitomised by the rejuvenated Danny Care and confident Owen Farrell were the points of difference to add to the 20 on the scoreboard.

Scotland’s parasitic worm-infected pitch was threadbare in many areas before kick-off, and appeared likely to only get worse in a steady downpour. The first sign of a malign effect on the play was Farrell slipping slightly as he shanked a simple penalty left of the posts in the fourth minute, given against Ryan Wilson for being offside in front of Stuart Hogg’s midair knock-on. But any notion that the Nematode soil invaders were doing Scotland a favour – rain plus churned up turf might equal English discomfort? – was betrayed by the body language of some of the Scots from very early on. Smaller lads like Greig Laidlaw, Duncan Weir and Stuart Hogg rely on footwork as much as anything; the pitch, an aching embarrassment to the Scottish Rugby Union, was no help to them, nor did it nullify England’s thundering work at the breakdown.

 

Long cross kicks by Hogg and Weir had an air of desperation about them, even befoe England’s opening try in the 15th minute. England were 3-0 up through Care’s skilfully dropped goal – the scrum-half, as in France last week, knew he had a penalty coming as he chanced his arm from the 22-metre line. Laidlaw had missed a long-range penalty for Scotland when Jim Hamilton drove into an English maul from the side and Farrell found touch 10 metres from the home goalline. Chris Robshaw caught the lineout at the front, Courtney Lawes was the hub of the drive and sadly for the Scots, Weir picked completely the wrong option as the ball came out. Weir stepped in to anticipate Jack Nowell receiving a short pass; instead Care sent Burrell careering through a gap for the big centre’s second try in his first two Tests – he must think this international rugby lark is easy.

Farrell converted, Laidlaw hit a post with a penalty and Scottish calumnies to add to those already by Wilson and Hamilton kept on coming. Lamont kicked the ball out of a ruck but Farrell missed the resulting penalty; Ross Ford overthrew a line-out but England were so laboured shifting the ball wide to Jonny May that they made no ground, then Hamilton went off his feet to allow Farrell to kick England 13-0 ahead. Another Ford overthrow near the English 22-metre line was even more agonising as it represented a rare Scottish foothold in auld enemy territory. And Hamilton, the target, is a rather large one at 6tf 8ins, for goodness’ sake. Difficult though it was anyway to envisage a Scottish fightback, they were saved from being further adrift when Burrell should have scored just before half-time but was tackled by Lamont. The break was made by Farrell, reprising the unexpectedly stylish show and go he practised to good effect in Paris.

Laidlaw was newly installed as Scotland’s captain after the dropping from the previous week’s dispiriting loss in Ireland of the Saracens flanker Kelly Brown, who chose to stay at home in London rather than travel to this match. Hmm.

The high hopes for the centre combination of Alex Dunbar and Matt Scott went unrealised, too. Dunbar’s most eye catching contribution was to go to the sin bin six minutes into the second half for killing another English attack at a ruck after a fine run by May, with blood smeared over his face from the broken nose suffered against the French. The stadium announcers chose an interlude soon after this to play a jaunty version of the Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond; the only thing bonny on the pitch was Brown’s beaming face as he shrugged off Scottish tackles for England’s second try on 58 minutes, made by sharp short passing between Care and Nowell. It was Brown’s second try in 23 Tests – or the second in two, as he might prefer to put it. When Stuart Lancaster, England’s head coach, got on the Harlequins full-back’s case after the autumn Tests about doing more in the opposition half he must have hoped for this kind of response.

Farrell converted for 20-0, and Dunbar returned to the field amid the certain scenario of England completing their 22nd win in the 26 meetings since Scotland’s 1990 Grand Slam. The choice of Chris Fusaro on debut instead of Kelly Brown might have slowed England a little; it was not a day when the scrummaging battle was hugely influential, other than to say the Scots never looked like getting on top. Hogg, normally the Scottish Baryshnikov, had not beaten a single defender as the clock ticked into the last 10 minutes.

Burrell, Nowell, Farrell – it all added up to Scottish hell. The English substitutions that caused some pundits angst in Paris were easy to make here. True, there was a repeat bungle at an attacking line-out thrown to by Dylan Hartley’s replacement Tom Youngs, but overall the red rose was is in clover again. Meanwhile even the worms must have been turning their noses up at the Scots.

Line-ups:

Scotland: S Hogg; T Seymour (M Evans 65), A Dunbar, M Scott (D Taylor 72), S Lamont; D Weir, G Laidlaw (capt, C Cusiter 65); R Grant (A Dickinson 43), R Ford (S Lawson 43), M Low (G Cross 68), T Swinson, J Hamilton (J Gray 70), R Wilson, C Fusaro, D Denton (J Beattie 53).

England: M Brown; J Nowell, L Burrell, B Twelvetrees (B Barritt 74), J May (A Goode 72); O Farrell, D Care (L Dickson 74); J Marler (M Vunipola 65), D Hartley (T Youngs 70), D Cole (H Thomas 76), J Launchbury (D Attwood 63), C Lawes, T Wood, C Robshaw (capt), B Vunipola (B Morgan 70).

Referee: J Garces (France).

 

 

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker