After his impressive display against England, Scotland wing Duhan van der Merwe has highlighted his team’s intent to ‘inspire a nation’.
The South African-born Van der Merwe scored Scotland’s only try as they claimed a famous upset victory at Twickenham over Eddie Jones’ England. The burly wing dotted down after powering through Owen Farrell and Mark Wilson on his way to the tryline.
‘At the end of the day, that’s my job. When I got the ball from [Scotland hooker] George [Turner] I just said to myself I need to finish this and luckily I managed to just get myself over the whitewash.’
This Scotland victory had the added ceremonial significance of falling on the 150th anniversary of the first time the two sides played. The win secured them the famous Calcutta Cup – the first time Scotland have won the trophy at Twickenham in 38 years. The significance of the result was not lost upon Van der Merwe.
‘Obviously I’m buzzing, it’s a massive win for us. We came out and said that we want to inspire a nation and hopefully we did that.’
The only dampener on what was otherwise a tense and exciting game was the absence of fans from the stadium, which Van der Merwe recognised after the match.
‘I know it’s tough for you fans not to be able to celebrate this game with us but hopefully we’ll get some fans in the future and we’ll see you guys at a sold-out Murrayfield.’
Scotland’s win gives them real momentum as they head into the second week of the competition to face Wales in Edinburgh. With both sides coming off a victory in the first round, a positive result next Saturday could be season-defining.