Player ratings: Group failure
OPINION: England came into this fixture having not lost to Scotland at Twickenham in 38 years, which brought its own pressure.
But they can’t have foreseen the Scottish performance that they faced. It was a group failure on the discipline front by England, and it was a game Scotland very much went out and won.
Ian Cameron rates the England player!
15. ELLIOT DALY – 5.5/10
Carried twice in the opening minutes, but didn’t have many opportunities to shine in an England team starved of possession. One of the few players that can boast a broken Scottish tackle.
14. ANTHONY WATSON – 5
Another player who just didn’t get an opportunity to perform with England’s negligible possession stats. Was unable to breach the Scottish defensive wall on the few occasions he was able to ask the question. Hard to fault.
13. HENRY SLADE – 4.5
One of a number of England players’ whose discipline failed in the first half. Missed four of England’s 27 missed tackles. A game to forget for the Exeter centre.
12. OLLIE LAWRENCE – 5
Playing against old mate Cam Redpath, who had the best of it. Looked eager for work and was defensively sound for the most part but touched the ball just once.
11. JONNY MAY – 4
An early knock-on wasn’t the ideal start for the flyer and he soon found himself covering the binned Vunipola in the back row, albeit minus the hilarity of 2016. Other than that he was interested onlooker for most of the match. The weather certainly didn’t help but it wasn’t May’s day.
10. OWEN FARRELL – 5
Could do nothing to stop Van der Merwe when covering across in defence for Scotland’s opening try. A slightly agricultural looking through the legs pass suggested he didn’t want to be outdone in the razzmatazz stakes by Russell, but his kicking from hand was spot on. Billed by some as a Lions’ audition, Russell certainly won this one.
9. BEN YOUNGS – 5
A veteran of the English backline, Youngs looked relatively sharp in the opening salvos but why he persisted with his trademark boxing kicking when England needed possession so badly is beyond this rater.
1. ELLIS GENGE – 5
Scotland clearly targeted him. Traded penalties with accomplished Scottish tighthead Zander Fagerson, who seemed to be getting an edge on the Leicester Tiger, with ‘Genge is struggling ref’ getting picked up by the ref mic at one stage. Tackled himself to a standstill in the loose.
2. JAMIE GEORGE – 5.5
Thwarting Hamish Watson with the help of Genge spoke to the Saracens’ energy levels. Time off from club duty, if anything, didn’t seem to have dulled him.
3. WILL STUART – 7.5
A standout in an otherwise dominated English pack. Got through a motherload of work in defence. At times looked more like an openside than a prop, despite his 6’2, 124kg frame. Gave as good as he got in his personal scrum battle with Rory Sutherland.
4. MARO ITOJE – 6
Two early charge downs very nearly in the Scotland 22 and, Stuart and Curry aside, was one of England’s most effective forward. Against that he was also one of England’s key offenders on the discipline front.
5. JONNY HILL – 5
Another player who whose discipline let him down at times. His crucial steal in the 57th could have been a turning point in the game, but England weren’t up to it.
6. MARK WILSON – 5
No one would question his work rate or heart, as noted by Eddie Joens during mid-week, and the Newcastle Falcon was England’s leading tackler with 9 by the end of the first half. Couldn’t contain Van Der Merwe for Scotland’s try and didn’t offer much in offence.
7. TOM CURRY – 6.5
Was everywhere in the early exchanges, on both sides of the ball. Carried powerfully, but ultimately, as a unit, the back row unit was utterly in the pocket of Scotland’s.
8. BILLY VUNIPOLA – 5
Another Saracen who didn’t look particularly rusty, although a coach-killing yellow card when Scotland had advantage blotted his copybook massively. Was dominated.