Elliot Daly says England have chance to ‘turn it around’ after poor start to Six Nations title defence

Scotland shocked England in their first Six Nations game

Duncan Bech
Friday 12 February 2021 17:10
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Elliot Daly insists England are ready to relaunch their Six Nations title defence by atoning for their Calcutta Cup horror show.

Eddie Jones’ champions crashed to a comprehensive 11-6 defeat on the opening weekend as an outstanding Scotland triumphed at Twickenham for the first time since 1983.

It was possibly the worst performances of the Jones era, but Daly is convinced England can ignite their Championship when 80-1 underdogs Italy visit London on Saturday.

READ MORE: Six Nations fixtures, kick-off times and full schedule

“We know what we’re capable of. It’s always disappointing when you lose, but it’s about how you go into the next game,” Daly said.

“Our performance wasn’t where we wanted it to be against Scotland, but we have this chance to put it right and get back to what we’re good at, so that means ball in hand and putting dangerous players into dangerous areas. These competitions aren’t won on the first weekend. We know we can turn it around so this is a good opportunity to really fly into it and see where we can put ourselves.

“We’ve been looking at what we can do to get back playing in the way we want to play and enforcing our game on the other team.

“Our best performances have been off the back of really good defensive sets, so whether that’s big hits in the game or all working together to get the ball back. We’ll be focusing on that against Italy.”

England’s backline were reduced to a bystander’s role against Scotland as what little possession they secured was kicked away aimlessly at half-back.

It is hoped the return of the George Ford-Owen Farrell axis at the expense of rookie centre Ollie Lawrence will induce a better attacking display against opponents who are seeking to avoid a 29th successive Six Nations loss.

Up-front there is greater firepower with props Kyle Sinckler and Mako Vunipola back from suspension and injury respectively, while the return of Courtney Lawes at blindside flanker ratchets up the physicality of the back row.

Daly said: “We’re a confident group. Obviously we’re disappointed with the Scotland result. We’ve looked at ourselves first, what we can do right.

“But the training week has been one of the best we’ve had at The Lensbury. Everyone is ready to go and raring to go. In the autumn there was a massive emphasis on playing without the ball and kicking the ball away.

“Now for us it’s about having a balance between our running and kicking game, because you still need a kicking game to win internationals with territory. In our backline we’ve got a lot of ball payers and pace on the outside so hopefully it goes well.”

PA

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