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.