England thrashed Scotland 61-21 on Saturday to clinch the Six Nations title and equal the tier-one Test record for consecutive wins. JON CARDINELLI reports.
England continue their march towards a new record of 19 straight Test victories. On Saturday, Eddie Jones’ charges beat Scotland to claim the Six Nations title with a game to spare. In doing so, they racked up their 18th consecutive win.
England have drawn level with the crack All Blacks side of 2016. They will have the chance to own that tier-one record – as well as a second consecutive Grand Slam – when they play Ireland in Dublin next week.
Scotland will go into their next clash against Italy, knowing that they blew a golden opportunity at Twickenham. The Bravehearts needed to beat England to claim the Triple Crown and to keep their own Six Nations title ambitions alive.
The visitors were more aggressive than accurate during what was a result-shaping opening quarter at Twickenham. Hooker Fraser Brown smashed Elliot Daly on his back in only the second minute, and was shown a yellow card. England put 10 points on during that period of sanction, and from there Vern Cotter’s men were forced to chase the game.
England dominated the collisions and ran at the Scotland defence from the outset. The visitors were guilty of standing back and waiting for the ball-carrier to arrive.
Jonathan Joseph scored the first of his three tries after sprinting through a yawning gap in the Scotland backline. Owen Farrell converted Joseph’s try, as well as a subsequent penalty to give his side a commanding 10-0 lead.
England continued to pressure the Scots at the gainline, and continued to find holes in the defence. Joseph scored his second try in the 25th minute after a wonderful piece of interplay, and then set up Anthony Watson for a score shortly before half-time.
England went to the break with a 30-7 lead. When Joseph completed his hat-trick shortly after half-time, it appeared as if the result and the Six Nations title were in the bag.
There was more pain on the cards for Scotland after Jones emptied his bench. The Vunipola brothers lent the pack fresh impetus, and Billy was awarded a try after England’s forwards drove from close range.
Stormers centre Huw Jones scored two late tries as Scotland sought to finish on a high. England had the final say, though, as Danny Care scored a brace of his own to clinch the bonus point for his team.
Farrell ended the match with a personal tally of 26 points. The England centre missed only one of his 12 attempts at goal – a shot from inside his own half right before the break.
England – Tries: Jonathan Joseph (3), Anthony Watson, Billy Vunipola, Danny Care (2). Conversions: Owen Farrell (7). Penalties: Farrell (4).
Scotland – Tries: Gordon Reid, Huw Jones (2). Conversions: Finn Russell (3).
England – 15 Mike Brown, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 James Haskell, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Joe Marler.
Subs: 16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Tom Wood, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ben Te’o, 23 Anthony Watson.
Scotland – 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 John Barclay (c), 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid.
Subs: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Cornell du Preez, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Mark Bennett.
Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images