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Scotland 30-21 England: Duhan van der Merwe hat-trick keeps Scotland's Six Nations hopes alive

A hat-trick for Duhan Van der Merwe sealed a 30-21 victory for Scotland over England in the Six Nations; England got on the scoreboard through George Furbank and Immanuel Feyi-Waboso; the win marks Scotland’s fourth Calcutta Cup in a row

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Sky Sports News reporter Eleanor Roper reflects on England's 30-21 Six Nations loss at Scotland

A sublime hat-trick from Duhan van der Merwe helped Scotland to a 30-21 victory over England as they kept their Six Nations hopes alive.

Although Van der Merwe was sent to the sin bin for the final moments of the match for a dangerous tackle, he was the star as Scotland claimed the Calcutta Cup for a fourth year in a row and kept their Six Nations hopes well and truly going after a controversial loss to France in round two.

England took an early lead in an untidy first half through a converted George Furbank try and George Ford penalty, but it was not long until Scotland hit back, two incredible converted Van der Merwe tries plus a Finn Russell penalty giving them the lead.

Some brilliant composure and skill from Ford to add a drop goal reduced England's deficit to just four points at half-time, the hosts taking a 17-13 lead in at the break.

Van der Merwe and Russell then combined early in the second half for the winger's third try as he cemented himself as the star of the show, Russell showing magic from his boot for the conversion plus two penalties for a significant lead.

England hit back through a Ford penalty and an unconverted Immanuel Feyi-Waboso try but despite trying to wrestle back the momentum and Van der Merwe's sin-binning giving them a player advantage for the last few minutes, Steve Borthwick's side were unable to get any more points on the board as Scotland claimed a fourth consecutive win over their old rivals.

Scotland stay strong in breathless contest with England

Both sides started with some ferocious attacking intent, but it was England who managed to create enough space from an early scrum, Furbank finishing off brilliant play from Danny Care and Elliott Daly to dive over after just five minutes.

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England's George Furbank celebrates scoring their first try with team-mates
Image: George Furbank was the first man to cross the whitewash as England took control early on

A sloppy Scotland continued to give England chances and the possession, a penalty on the 14th minute at the breakdown converted by Ford and giving England a 10-0 lead.

Although everything looked to be going England's way and their new-look blitz defence seemed to be clicking, a huge hole for Huw Jones provided the spark for Van der Merwe to go over in the corner, Russell converting to narrow the gap to 10-7.

Duhan Van der Merwe was the man for Scotland in the first half against England
Image: Duhan Van der Merwe got Scotland back into the match in the first 40

A sensational piece of individual brilliance then gave the hosts the lead, Van der Merwe capitalising on loose hands from England to show his supreme pace, passing Furbank and Ben Earl on his way to the try-line before Russell added the extras for a 14-10 lead.

A penalty for an England breakdown error then increased Scotland's advantage to 17-10 with just five minutes of the first half to play before Ford then added the drop goal to narrow the gap once again heading into half-time.

Scotland 30-21 England: Score Summary

Scotland: Tries: Duhan Van der Merwe (20, 30, 45); Conversions: Finn Russell (21, 31, 46, 64)

England: Tries: George Furbank (5), Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (67); Conversions: George Ford (6, 50)

After the break Scotland continued where they had left off, pinching the ball from the lineout before a crossfield kick from Russell, taking advantage of the space created by England's new defensive set-up, was collected by Van der Merwe for his hat-trick, the captain converting for a 24-13 advantage.

Duhan Van der Merwe was the star man for Scotland against England
Image: Duhan Van der Merwe was the star man for Scotland against England

England hit back with another penalty from Ford but after Earl was caught offside, Russell took his opportunity to send another over the posts and give his side a 27-16 lead with just over 20 minutes remaining, another penalty on the 64th minute then increasing the lead to 30-16.

The visitors then shocked Scotland as Feyi-Waboso went over through a huge gap for his first Test try but Fin Smith could not add the extras, leaving the score at 30-21 and giving Scotland their fourth Calcutta Cup win in a row.

Ireland now remain the only unbeaten side in the 2024 Six Nations, Scotland and England both heading into round four with a loss each.

Van der Merwe: It is a special day | Borthwick: We need to be better vs Ireland

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Duhan Van der Merwe says it was a 'special day' after scoring a hat-trick in Scotland's 30-21 Six Nations victory over England

Hat-trick hero Duhan van der Merwe to BBC Sport:

"I can't believe it, to be honest. I've never scored a hat-trick for Scotland and to do it today is so special.

"I can just thank the boys for giving me the opportunity.

Scotland's Duhan van der Merwe scores their second try
Image: Scotland's Duhan van der Merwe scores their second try

"I don't know what it is, I must be waking up just thinking of scoring tries.

"I'm buzzing. It shows you where we're going. It's really special and we're building."

England head coach Steve Borthwick to BBC Sport...

"Firstly, you have to credit Scotland with a very strong performance.

"We're an England team which is trying to develop, you saw some aspects of our game step forward, but too many handling errors.

"If you turn over that much ball it's very difficult to win a Test match against a team of Scotland's quality.

"It's going to take time. We know today wasn't good enough. Scotland scored far too easily. You can't allow a team to score that easily.

"We'll make sure we'll be better against Ireland."

England captain Jamie George to BBC Sport:

"It's obvious [how disappointing the loss is]. We really felt in a good way heading into this.

"We made life hard for ourselves. The first 20 minutes was the best we played for a while. Van der Merwe showed his world class qualities.

"We don't want to go behind. I don't see issues with how we played in the first half. Finn Russell and Van der Merwe can create magic.

"A lot of what we did was good, but we just can't hand the ball over to a team like that.

"We're very clear on how we want to play. There was some really great stuff in there. We have to make sure we make the most of a couple of weeks leading into Ireland."

What's next?

England are next in action on Saturday March 9 as they host reigning champions Ireland at Twickenham (4.45pm kick-off GMT).

Scotland are also in action on March 9 at home as they welcome Italy to Murrayfield (2.15pm kick-off GMT).

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