Six Nations: Eddie Jones says Scotland carry burden of being ‘red-hot favourites’
Saturday’s hosts have won three of the last four meetings between the two old rivals and while bookmakers are backing England to win this time, it is long been known as a fixture full of pitfalls. For the visitors Tom Curry steps in as captain after injury ruled Owen Farrell and Courtney Lawes out of contention with the 23-year-old back row becoming the country’s youngest skipper since Will Carling in 1988. Marcus Smith has held off the challenge of George Ford to continue at fly-half in what is an attacking selection from head coach Eddie Jones.
The swirling wind and driving rain forecast for the game should play into Scottish hands with Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg well versed in the nuances of kicking in difficult conditions at Murrayfield. Jones insists the stage is set for Gregor Townsend’s team, but also wonders if they can deliver. “It’s the first time I’ve had the experience of going up there when Scotland have been red-hot favourites. They’re expected to win,” Jones said ahead of this one.
Follow all the latest updates and analysis in the live blog below:
HALF TIME: SCOTLAND 10-6 ENGLAND
Harry Latham-Coyle5 February 2022 17:31
PENALTY! SCOTLAND 10-6 England (Finn Russell penalty, 41 minutes)
Russell steadies himself and bisects the uprights. Scotland have had little territory or ball but lead by a useful four points as the players depart for half-time.
Harry Latham-Coyle5 February 2022 17:30
Scotland 7-6 England, 39 minutes
Scotland have done so much good stuff defensively in this first half and again nick breakdown ball as England try to attack. The last chance of the half will be the hosts’, then, and they might just extend their lead after Kyle Sinckler is ruled not to have offered a sufficiently clear release before competing at a ruck.
Finn Russell will indeed go for goal.
Harry Latham-Coyle5 February 2022 17:29
Scotland 7-6 England, 37 minutes
Brilliant defence from England. Duhan van der Merwe comes stomping off his wing, bristling as he is fed a pass and asked to charge into the English inside backs. Elliot Daly goes low, snaring an angry bear in his trap and pulling him down swiftly, allowing his captain Tom Curry to latch over the top and draw the referee’s whistle for van der Merwe’s failure to release.
Harry Latham-Coyle5 February 2022 17:28
Ben White had a dream start to his Scotland career, scoring just minutes after coming on to the field
Harry Latham-Coyle5 February 2022 17:26
PENALTY! Scotland 7-6 ENGLAND (Marcus Smith penalty, 34 minutes)
Another simple one for the England fly-half and much more confidently struck.
Harry Latham-Coyle5 February 2022 17:24
Scotland 7-3 England, 33 minutes
There’s a bit of zing to the England attack, but Scotland’s structures are thus far holding firm. Kyle Sinckler is dragged down by Rory Sutherland, who ends up draped over the top, forming a ruck – an arriving Jamie Ritchie is therefore penalised when he is caught with chocolate-covered fingers after a dig through the cookie jar. Marcus Smith will look to narrow the margin to one from bang in front…
Harry Latham-Coyle5 February 2022 17:23
Scotland 7-3 England, 31 minutes
England catch and drive and begin to get a rumble on, Scottish bodies falling away as it advances with ominous intent. Five metres short, four metres, two metres, and over, but there are just enough Scottish limbs surrounding the ball to prevent it getting to ground. Goalline dropout. Scotland survive, but their clearance is short, and England will attack again.
Harry Latham-Coyle5 February 2022 17:21
Scotland 7-3 England, 29 minutes
But here come England! Luke Cowan-Dickie swats a tackler aside and then Ben O’Keeffe announces that they have the advantage. Scotland broaden in preparation for something adventurous but that leaves space closer in, Ben Youngs sniping effectively but unable to dodge backfield tacklers.
Marcus Smith loves a crossfield kick…over-cooked! Henry Slade claps his hands in frustration as his fly-half puts it over the leaping centre’s head out on the right without a Scottish defender in particularly close attendance. Back they will go for the penalty, which is pushed for the opposite corner by Smith.
Harry Latham-Coyle5 February 2022 17:20
Scotland 7-3 England, 28 minutes
George Turner flings it over the top into the midfield and a meaty charge affords Scotland the space required to clear in reasonable comfort.
Harry Latham-Coyle5 February 2022 17:18