England destroy woeful Scotland at Murrayfield


Luther Burrell and Mike Brown found themselves on the scoresheet for the second week in a row as England beat a sub-par Scotland outfit at Murrayfield.

The momentum stayed with England throughout the game (as you can see in the momentum chart below), as errors from the Scottish side undermined any possession or territory they had.


Burrell crashed over in the 14th minute as he picked a brilliant line off Danny Care to scythe through Scotland’s line and barge his way to the line. Mike Brown secured the win for England in the second half as Jack Nowell beat two players before drawing the fullback to send Brown over in the corner.

The pitch, which had been heavily discussed before the game, did play a role in proceedings, slowing the game down and making life tough for the kickers. But England played with greater endeavour and accuracy than the hosts, and ultimately deserved their win.

One of Scotland’s targets, as determined before the game by IBM TryTracker, was to win 88% of their set pieces, and with Ross Ford particularly poor throwing into the line-out, they fell comfortably short of that figure to win just 70%.

The hooker’s continued inclusion in the Scotland team has become a source of frustration for Scotland fans, and his performance today will only have emboldened those calling for him to be dropped.

England, by contrast, smashed two of their three keys to game, forcing 14 turnovers and making nine linebreaks.

Surprisingly, given the conditions, England’s two most important players came from their back three. Jonny May made 65 metres and beat six defenders, while try scorer and man of the match Mike Brown made a brilliant 92 metres and beat five defenders.

Scotland’s debutant Chris Fusaro ended up being their most important player, according to TryTracker, making 14 tackles and three gainline breaks. It says a lot about their performance that Johnnie Beattie, who only entered the fray in the 52nd minute, was their third most important player. Ironically, the man in second was Dave Denton, whom he replaced.

So England’s championship is back on track while Scotland, with just two penalties to their name from the opening two games, have a lot of work to do to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon.

For more stats and live analysis during all the England games, head to IBM TryTracker.

15 thoughts on “England destroy woeful Scotland at Murrayfield

  1. Well, the truth is out Scott Johnson really is clueless!
    Alone he kept faith with Ford who repaid him with yet another failure, he and his forwards coach have overseen the complete destruction of Scottish set piece forward play.
    They cannot win either scrum of lineout and expect a committed back row to compete whilst in reverse.
    Three quarter line committed in defence unseen in attack
    Perhaps it is harsh to blame Johnson without mentioning the role played by his employers who put him in his thankless but well paid role, they are the real cause of Scottish rug boy’s demise.

    Score line on the day
    England First
    Nematodes second
    Weather third
    Crowd fourth
    Entertainers fifth
    Scotland sixth

  2. Scotland were woeful today, but you do wonder if some of this was caused by immense English pressure.

    Delighted to see May play a whole game. He has a real x factor, which I think bodes well for the future. Thought Nowell did some good things, and as for Brown, he gets better and better. I have been quite critical of him in the past and he’s proved me completely wrong!

    Think 12Ts was better today and Farrell is definitely playing a better game. Billy V was huge today in all senses of the word and the pack played brilliantly.

    Negatives for me were once again Danny Care’s box kicking and the subs bench. If Barritt isn’t starting there is no point having him on the bench. Goode just doesn’t cut it at this level and Youngs needs to go back to his club and practice throwing. Webber should be on the bench. The lineout went from imperious to shambolic in the blink of a substitution.

    Still a 20 point win in wet conditions on a cabbage patch of a field against any top tier international outfit is not to be sneezed at, so we’ll done England. Looking forward to a fortnights time.

    1. Good analysis.

      Farrell is too easy a target and is a little underappreciated in some quarters. His game has expanded as Saracens’ has expanded. He will never have the natural talents of the likes of Burns, Ford or Cipriani but which of them can kick the points and tackle like him? A squad must have balance of pragmatism and flair. Farrell and Ford offers the coach very different options.

      Goode for me has always been a fly-half who plays at full back and Foden offers more.

      Considering the situation with discipline, culture, an ageing squad and poor ball handling skills, SL has made good strides forward. It promises to be a good game against Ireland, I hope the weather is clement. Win or lose England are much more watchable than they used to be.

  3. I think “destroy” is a harsh term for a display in which Scotland in attack were woeful, but their defense certainly wasn’t. The English attack was improved on their performance against France but they squeezed less points past the Scottish defense than the French one. 20 points is not a huge margin, especially when you put it in the context of true “destructions” like Ireland vs New Zealand in their summer tour. When Wales beat England more comprehensively last year than England beat Scotland this year it says something for the bias in this headline.

    Jonny May, Mike Brown and Luther Burrell were brilliant and I think they secured their starting berths today. Twelvetrees meanwhile put on another lacking display and anyone still defending Farrell based on his kicking ability has to be having doubts now. He’s actually going backwards in test performances over the past year.

    Anyone else keen to see a Scotland back row of 6 – Denton, 7 – Fusaro 8 – Beattie?

    Ford has to be dropped now. Hamilton plays well but his indiscipline is a huge liability. Jonny Gray continues to make his case to be a starting player.

    1. Rucking. Given the conditions and the pitch, it was a massive win. If the game had been played under a roof on a decent pitch the score could have been much higher. Of course given those circumstances, Scotland might have played better – we just don’t know, but you can’t compare the two.

      Criticism of Farrell over his kicking is also way off. He slipped on the first one and was tentative thereafter. I’ve not always been his biggest fan, but he’s playing a much better all round game this season. Still could get better I grant you, however I’d take him over anything Scotland has.

      As for your back row, I don’t really know enough about their strengths and weaknesses to comment too much, but have you got too much ball carrying and not enough dirty work in your proposal? Asking the question as I don’t know. Quite a few commentators thought your 6 (sorry can’t remember his name) had a really good game. I would have to watch the match again to comment as these things tend to go unnoticed. Interestingly while watching the game with my 11 year old son, he suddenly pipes up “who is the man in the black head guard – he gets everywhere”. I had to check, but it was Tom Wood. I hadn’t noticed him up to that point! Just goes to show!

    2. I would like to know what exactly about Farrell’s play is going backwards? I agree he had an off day with the boot but he is standing flatter, passing faster and attacking the game line and making metres. Personally I think he is developing into a class act.

      Also twenty points in an international is a large margin by any reckoning but where england’s dominance really showed was the fact that Scotland failed to register any points at all and two difficult penalties aside didn’t look like scoring. Its very rare to see a rugby international side nil’ed, especially at home.

      By no means was it a faultless display by England but it was very good and Scotland were completely outplayed.

      1. An interesting perspective on Farrell. I thought he was excellent yesterday, and was a major part of Englands ability to keep threatening the Scottish defence.

        It wasn’t a day to judge anyone on their place kicking accuracy.

        Billy Twelvetrees also seems to be getting some mixed opinions. Again, I thought that he played really well, running a lot straighter than I have seen him do recently, and passing well. Difficult really to think of a starting three-quarter who shouldn’t be very pleased with their input.

  4. One question. Does SL see Alex Goode as a back up fly half or was his selection just an emergency measure? I only ask as 20 points up and cruising Goode replaces May not Farrell? I just don’t get it. Putting all our eggs in the Farrell basket. SL seems to be tempting fate to injure Farrell?

    1. May had already had his nose rubbed at least once, and Launch was getting a bit of a stamping on too, I think Lancaster was protecting players.

  5. Totally agree with the majority of comments on here, especially with regard to playing Goode and Barritt on the bench. It just doesn’t make sense to keep these guys included when they are not starting as they offer nothing in terms of impact.

    Tom Youngs needs to take some time back with Leicester to find some form and Webber would be a good replacement with his club linkage to Attwood. I haven’t seen anything of Dickinson in an England shirt that makes me think he has what it takes long term at international level and so I would include B. Youngs on the bench dispite his patchy club form recently.

    Caps are becoming more and more precious as time moves towards the World Cup so let’s use them wisely and show a bit more faith in the likes of Watson, Ford and co.

    I would like to see the following team line up against Irekand in two weeks time:

    1. J. Marler
    2. D. Hartley
    3. D. Cole
    4. C. Lawes
    5. J. Launchbury
    6. T. Wood
    7. C. Robshaw
    8. B. Vunipola

    9. D. Care
    10. O. Farrell
    11. J. May
    12. B. Twelvetrees
    13. L. Burrell
    14. J. Nowell
    15. M. Brown

    16. R. Webber
    17. M. Vunipola
    18. H. Thomas
    19. D. Attwood
    20. B. Morgan
    21. B. Youngs
    22. G. Ford
    23. A. Watson

    1. Don’t think that you are going to get too many disagreements on that bench except maybe SL!

      And taking Blub’s comment one step further. It’d going to be very interesting when all of the injured players come back. Corbisiero, Wilson, Parling, Croft, Tuilagi, Yarde, Wade and Foden must all be in with a shout of the match day squad. Even if some caps have been wasted, we still seem to have tremendous strength in depth.

      1. Unfortunately I doubt we will see either of Ford or Watson before the Italy game at the earliest, think SL has blown it. This was the perfect game to have both on the bench. I didn’t agree with it but could understand the thinking behind the bench for France but we all knew barring some miracle that this was going to be the easiest game (alongside the Italy game) and yet SL didn’t think it was right to include those two? Is he now going to throw them into the Ireland or Wales squads which both have a heightened importance? I doubt it, but hope I am proven wrong.

        On a side note, Rucking, are you joking when you say Farrell is going backwards?? I am a fan of his (should declare that straight away) but even if I wasn’t he is coming along brilliantly, making breaks, fizzing out some nice passes and really seems to enjoy the quick ball the forwards and Care are giving him (I realise he is playing behind a dominant pack). He is clearly our best 10 going forward, and time is running out to blood a replacement… guess we can throw Ford in at the deep end in the summer tests!!

        1. Jfmac. To be fair to SL he isn’t afraid of blooding replacements in big games. Burns against NZ for example! Think he picked his match day 23 for the first 2 games. Hope he now changes that. We will wait and see. He does seem to adapt which is the sign of a good coach.

  6. Like the look of Paulo’s team and bench for Ireland game. Got to say Wood and Robshaw are starting to show a “Richard Hill” like consistency , Billy is mature way beyond his no 8 years. Aside from K.Read , the way he and Morgan are going; we’ll have two of the world best no.8’s come 2015. Let’s get Ford and Watson blooded ASAP.

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