RBS Six Nations: England score four tries as Scotland are humbled
England got their Six Nations campaign off to a flying start with a comprehensive 38-18 victory over Scotland.
Last Updated: 02/02/13 8:35pm
This was not the record-breaking, world-shaking victory over the All Blacks Twickenham witnessed last autumn, but in its way it was equally impressive, as England first tamed Scotland, then controlled them, and finally went on to completely dominate them.
The victory was based around superiority at the breakdown, good discipline and patient play with ball-in-hand, all held together by the almost unerring boot of Owen Farrell, who knocked over seven kicks from eight attempts.
There were also tries for Chris Ashton - his 17th in an England shirt, Billy Twelvetrees on his debut, Geoff Parling and Danny Care with a sniping burst as time expired.
But after Farrell had kicked an early penalty, it was the Scots who grabbed the lead with their first attack on 10 minutes. Stuart Hogg's burst took Scotland deep into the England 22 and although he wasted the chance to put Sean Maitland in at the corner, the ball was quickly recycled for the winger to touch down on his debut.
Greig Laidlaw missed the conversion and Scotland quickly came up with two errors, enabling Farrell to put England 9-5 ahead, before Laidlaw made a kick after Tom Youngs was penalised coming in at the side
On the half hour England's pressure finally told as Joe Launchbury almost reached the line and with the Scotland defence stretched, Chris Ashton finished well under pressure from two defenders.
Farrell converted and a high tackle by Jonnie Beattie gifted the England fly-half another three points, although Beattie made amends with a powerful burst from midfield which earned a penalty for Laidlaw in the last minute of the half.
England were quickly on the front foot after the re-start and after a patient and controlled build-up, Farrell's flat pass was met by Twelvetrees at pace and the centre crashed over.
Farrell also had a key hand in the next try as after Ben Youngs outpaced the Scotland defence, the ball was shipped out wide and a fine cut-out pass from the Saracens half put Parling in.
Scotland hit back with a long-range try with nine minutes left after Denton broke from his own 22 and Maitland hacked on, before Stuart Hogg was able to touch down.
But there was never really any hint of a comeback and Care's close-range score after a five-metre lineout gave the final scoreline a more realistic look.