Far closer than anyone expected, England grinded their way home in this performance against Scotland, whose defence was excellent.
England were perhaps overly ambitious with the ball in hand, but their work in the mauls and off the lineout offered them a great platform, and they enjoyed an element of dominance in the scrum. But Scotland kept themselves very much in the game due to Max Evans’ great piece of opportunism, along with Chris Paterson’s ever reliable boot.
For England, it was great to see Tom Croft back, and he marked his return well with a good try in what was England’s best move of the match. The centres seemed to struggle to open up the defence, as did Toby Flood, and there were far too many turnovers at key moments.
Jonny Wilkinson’s introduction for me was the turning point, and I would like to see him start next week in Dublin. England were sparked into life following his arrival on the pitch.
Still, a win is a win, and that is now four in a row for England as they sit one away from the all important title. The players in the press room afterwards were far from ecstatic with how the game had gone, but, Dublin now awaits.
What were your thoughts on today’s game at Twickenham? Let us know your thoughts and chew the fat as if we were all in the pub.
As always, we’ll have the usual player ratings, opinions and analysis during the week.