Oh, no Calcutta for England

Scotland 18 England 12. Paterson's boot stamps out a Red Rose Slam as Scotland rule the day
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The Independent Online

Scotland wrecked England's Grand Slam ambitions - just as they did six years ago - by defeating them 18-12 in a gruelling Six Nations' Championship scrap at Murrayfield.

It was another wonderful evening for the game in Scotland. Once ahead, the Scots defended ferociously to complete a glorious victory and claim the Calcutta Cup for the first time since that 19-13 victory in 2000.

They stamped out an advantage through the boots of Chris Paterson, who kicked five penalties, and Dan Parks, who landed a drop goal, and their dogged tackling restricted England to only four penalties by Charlie Hodgson in reply.

Scotland followed up on their unexpected victory over France at their headquarters three weeks ago by nibbling at England's confidence and using possession astutely to discomfit the old enemy. Unfancied before the tournament, the Scots have now exposed weaknesses in both of the favourites.

Frank Hadden, the coach who has transformed Scotland from no hopers, was understandably chuffed.

"I'm so proud. It was a sensational defensive effort. England played pretty well today but our defence was magnificent," he said.

Scotland simply showed greater purpose. "The continual in-your-face defensive effort", as Hadden called it, frustrated England, who had the second-row forward Danny Grewcock sent to the sin-bin in the first half.

Another stunning victory for Scotland left Andy Robinson, England's coach, needing to rethink. After noting that the Scots "made 112 tackles and missed just six", Robinson said: "Scotland managed the game better than us today, and that was the difference."

What England did manage was to mess up the few chances they did create.

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