England 23 Scotland 29: Van der Merwe the hero as sensational Scot ruins the start of Borthwick’s reign in Six Nations
ENGLAND’S new era ended in another bitter defeat as Steve Borthwick watched his side plunge into Six Nations misery.
Winger Duhan van der Merwe’s last try summed up the defensive troubles that proved so costly, despite Borthwick’s men scoring three tries to send the Twickenham crowd roaring.
But two from winger Max Malins and the third from support Ellis Genge wasn’t enough as a series of missed tackles and errors allowed Scotland to clinch a Calcutta Cup victory hat-trick for the first time since 1972.
And while fans had more to celebrate than the shocker against South Africa that cost Eddie Jones his job in November, Borthwick now knows the magnitude of his task of turning England around for September’s World Cup.
This was a game that encapsulated England’s failures, beginning when Scotland scored with their first attack after 15 minutes.
It was thanks to the brilliant play of Sione Tuipilota, who timed his cultivator kick perfectly for center partner Huw Jones to land off the post, Russell adding the extras.
But England allowed the game to develop far too easily and even after Malins perfectly timed Marcus Smith’s high kick to pounce on the ball as it fell behind the try line, they didn’t learn.
Van der Merwe earned praise for his barnstorming run from his own half. England missed FIVE chances to pin him as the winger somehow managed to dodge them all.
Nevertheless, England turned around in front.
When they finally coordinated their hands and feet and gained ground in pace, the signing resulted in a secured opening as Lewis Ludlam Malins hopped over for his second.
And after missing both conversions, Farrell kicked over a penalty with the last action of the half and sent England into the dressing room a point clear.
England carried the momentum into the second half.
Smith sent a penalty close to the corner flag, the line-out drill worked and Genge rumbled over from close range, Farrell extended the lead to eight.
Back to one shortly after as Scotland scrum-half Ben White picked up a loose ball that had slipped between his legs and found himself in the space to run on from the 22.
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A penalty each for Farrell and Russell meant they went by a single point in the last 10 minutes.
But it was van der Merwe who made the killer move, making room on the left and running through Smith before forcing his way across the line, despite the efforts of Malins, to desperately leave England again.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7309674/england-scotland-van-der-merwe-borthwick-six-nations/ England 23 Scotland 29: Van der Merwe the hero as sensational Scot ruins the start of Borthwick’s reign in Six Nations