Rugby: England and Scotland play out highest-scoring draw in history


Blackleaf
#1
England and Scotland yesterday played what was probably the most astonishing international match in rugby's history.

England started this game with their Six Nations title hopes dashed after Wales beat Ireland earlier in the day to claim the title. This game was therefore just a dead rubber, yet both sides were desperate for victory.

England dominated the first half and raced into a 31-0 lead and led 31-7 at half time.

But Scotland dominated the second half, and staged an astonishing comeback to take a 38-31 lead with just minutes to go.

Deep into time added on at the end of the game the Scots were thinking they were about to celebrate beating England in London for the first time since 1983, but England then scored a late try, which was converted, to make the score 38-38, which is how it ended.

The result is the highest-scoring draw in international rugby history, but the Scots will be bitterly disappointed that they still could not beat England at Twickenham despite leading with just seconds to go.

However, the draw means Scotland retain the Calcutta Cup.

England and Scotland draw astonishing Test 38-38 in Six Nations


By Mike Henson
BBC Sport

Six Nations

England 38-38 Scotland

England - Tries: Nowell, Curry, Launchbury, May, Ford Cons: Farrell 4 Ford Pen: Farrell

Scotland - Tries: McInally, Graham 2, Bradbury, Russell, Johnson Cons: Russell 2, Laidlaw 2

At Twickenham, London



England and Scotland fought out an astonishing draw in the most remarkable match in their 148-year rivalry.

England, whose title hopes were ended by Wales's win over Ireland, raced into a 31-point lead in as many minutes.

But Stuart McInally broke clear before Darcy Graham (twice), Magnus Bradbury and Finn Russell crossed in a second-half blitz that made it 31-31.

Sam Johnson scored a seemingly decisive try late on, only for England's George Ford to make it 38-38 at the death.

Despite the extraordinary drama, both sides looked deflated on the final whistle.

Despite retaining the Calcutta Cup, Scotland had to come to terms with being denied the greatest comeback in top-level international history - and an end to a 36-year Twickenham hoodoo - in the final play of the game.

England, with coach Eddie Jones looking on furiously from above, had saved themselves from an embarrassing defeat, but will face a brutal inquest into their second-half display and further questions over their concentration and consistency in big matches, less than six months before the World Cup.

England run rampant



Jonny May's try seemed to have England on course to match the joint-record 40-point winning margin they racked up in the 2017 fixtureA first try after 66 seconds. A bonus point inside 29 minutes. England's biggest half-time lead ever against Scotland.

In the first 40 minutes, there was a chasm-like disparity between the international game's oldest adversaries.

Wing Jack Nowell started England's onslaught as he stepped inside the cover to score in the second minute.

A clever short line-out was then driven over for Tom Curry's score and Ellis Genge, on for the injured Ben Moon in the fourth minute, sprung fellow prop Kyle Sinckler through a gap in the build-up to Joe Launchbury diving in.

When Henry Slade flicked a pass out the back of his hand for Jonny May to stroll in, it felt like there was an element of showboating in England's performance.

Jones had said before the match that it was a chance to "show that we're the best team in the Six Nations" and with nine tries more than anyone else in the championship at that point, it seemed his side were making the statement he wanted as they took a 31-0 lead.

Scotland surge back



Scotland and their captain Stuart McInally retain the Calcutta Cup courtesy of last year's 25-13 win at MurrayfieldWhat followed was six unanswered Scotland tries that shocked an unsuspecting Twickenham.

Flanker-turned-hooker Stuart McInally's charge-down and charge home from 55 metres out gave the visitors something before the break.

At that stage, it had seemed little more than a consolation.

But, in the second half, Scotland made light of the weight of history and an injury-ravaged squad as their backline suddenly realised their potential for dazzling, defence-shredding play.


The draw means Scotland retain the Calcutta Cup



The final standings

In the space of 13 surreal minutes, Graham jinked over following quicksilver interplay, Ali Price's chip paved the way for Bradbury's score, a looping miss-pass from Russell sprang Graham and finally Russell snaffled an interception from opposite number Farrell to level the scores.

A reeling England seemed to regain their balance only for Johnson to barrel over in the 76th minute. On the brink of a victory for the ages and with the clock in the red though, they could not hold out.

It was a performance that showed the best and worst of Gregor Townsend's side with their lack of forward heft and basic errors perfectly counter-balanced by their flashes of attacking brilliance.

Man of the match - Finn Russell (Scotland)



Fly-half Finn Russell kept his belief in his side and his own game-breaking ability to steer Scotland back into a contest that seemed lost

What the pundits said

Former Scotland scrum-half Andy Nicol: "I don't know who to feel. Am I elated we got back in or am I gutted we got into a winning position and didn't make it? There were clearly system errors in the first half and the body language wasn't great but they turned it around and the positives definitely outweighed the negatives."

Former England scrum-half Matt Dawson: "I'm chuffed how the Scots back into it. I'm frustrated as an Englishman I have never seen a side get so far ahead and almost lose it."

Former England fly-half Paul Grayson: "I feel Owen Farrell's job spec is so big. The full captaincy on his own is a massive ask. When England got into trouble against Wales and Scotland, he has got so much on his plate, that maybe he loses himself."

BBC rugby union correspondent Chris Jones: "There are so many questions that remain about England. However brilliant they look when they are good, when they are off it, they can look like the wheels are falling off."

Line-ups

England: Daly, Nowell, Ashton, Tuilagi, May, Farrell, Youngs, Moon, George, Sinckler, Launchbury, Kruis, Wilson, Curry, B. Vunipola.

Replacements: Genge for Moon (4), Te'o for Tuilagi (77), Ford for Farrell (70), Spencer for Youngs (74), Cowan-Dickie for George (74), Cole for Sinckler (51), Hughes for Launchbury (74), Shields for Wilson (62).

Scotland: Maitland, D. Graham, Grigg, Johnson, McGuigan, Russell, Price, Dell, McInally, Nel, Toolis, Gilchrist, Skinner, Watson, Bradbury.

Replacements: Hastings for Maitland (68 ), Harris for Grigg (57), Laidlaw for Price (57), Reid for Dell (45), Brown for McInally (57), Berghan for Nel (61), Gray for Gilchrist (57), Strauss for Skinner (57).

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/47598676
Last edited by Blackleaf; Mar 17th, 2019 at 06:35 AM..
 
NZDoug
#2
Great game, I just saw the 2nd half.
Wheels coming off Eddie Jones fellas...
I hear the tickets for the World Cup in Japan are $2,000.00 for cheap sests.
Big gowge.