Sunday, 5 February 2023

England 23 v Scotland 29

I was at Twickenham yesterday for what I believe was my 12th visit in 35 years to see Scotland and it was the first time I have seen us win there. A superb match was nip and tuck until the end when Duhan Van Der Merve bolted in from the wing and crashed three tacklers to win it for Scotland.

Steve Borthwick's first team selections seemed to be on track for much of the game. Two good Max Malins tries demonstrated why he had been selected. The England pack was slightly on top but failed to turned the game when Scotland replaced their front row in the second half. 

Instead it was left to Scotland's backs to win the match. With Finn Russell the thinking is often quick but yesterday the passing across the line was lightning quick and it gave Scotland the edge. Huw Jones had scampered in to touch down a clever grubber from Tuipulotu for the first Scottish try and Van Der Merve scored the try of the game mid way through the first-half when he ran the length of the England half and evaded five tackles to score. Ben White added the third after breaking the line and charging home in the second-half.

To make things even better, the Addicks held on for 60 minutes to win for only a second time on the road, at Exeter. Rak-Sakyi volleyed an early lead from a Dobson chip and Blackett-Taylor raced on to a Ness through ball to slip the keeper. The Grecians pulled one back but we held on for the points. I was delighted to see Rak-Sakyi holding up a shirt remembering Ben Jay after he scored and it was good to see Dean Holden on the train with supporters after the match. 

I had feared we might lose yesterday and that the more fickle amongst us would be on Holden's back. The win was well worked and Holden's post match interview was another lesson in telling it as it was and explaining very clearly what he set the side out to do and how it worked. He has the common touch and is very hard not to like. I do wish he wasn't associated with Methvin & Co but I guess that's not his problem and he certainly seems happy enough to be getting on with his job in spite of the ownership uncertainty.

Bring on Wales at Murrayfield 😁.

1 comment:

  1. I'm no aficionado of rugby and don't even claim to fully understand the rules of Union.
    But Scotland won that for one simple reason. When they broke forward, they out-paced the English players, like whippets chasing bulldogs.


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