Scotland retained the Calcutta Cup with a thrilling late Six Nations victory over England at Murrayfield.
Finn Russell’s late penalty set the seal on a dramatic 20-17 triumph for Gregor Townsend’s side, who took the lead in the first half through Ben White’s debut try.
Marcus Smith hit back for England both from the tee and with a stylish try, though the key moment in an absorbing second period came when Luke Cowan-Dickie deliberately slapped forward a Russell cross-field kick intended for Darcy Graham into touch.
A penalty try was rightly awarded and Cowan-Dickie was shown a yellow card, with Scotland taking advantage and then standing firm as England pushed to hit back with the clock in the red.
Another Calcutta Cup triumph will give Scotland huge belief ahead of a a trip to Wales next weekend, while England are left licking their wounds once more before they travel to Rome to take on Italy.
Scotland vs England latest news
Townsend hails Russell
“He was outstanding the whole game,” he said. “He was calm, he nailed his kicks, came up with two brilliant kicks to the corner and then he was still able to play our shape and find holes in their defence. He had a great game.”
The Scots’ Calcutta Cup triumph came in Townsend’s 50th game in charge but the coach played down the significance of the milestone.
“It means a lot to us but it means more for our country, for the people here,” he said. “We know how important this game is for Scotland as a nation.
“We just wanted to focus on the game and we delivered a winning performance.
“But we know we can improve and we will have to improve if we want to win another trophy later in the season.”
Gregor Townsend reaction
“I don’t know if any Scottish supporters have been as excited about a set of scrums at the end of a game,” he told the BBC. “I was nervous about that.
“But it was a great occasion and that was a brilliant win for us.
“It was crossing my mind what England might do if they won a penalty – would they kick for the corner or go for the draw? – but fortunately it wasn’t decided on a penalty it was decided on an error.
“They were tough conditions in the second half for both teams and we probably would have backed our defence to go through the phases because it would have been hard to break us down with a wet ball.
“The character, fitness and self-belief is there. We played a lot of that game without the ball. I thought England played really well.
“We were behind on the scoreboard but came back and the confidence came through us. I thought some of our best rugby was in the last 15 minutes when it was terrible conditions. I’m really proud of the team.”
Jones and Curry refuse to blame Cowan-Dickie
Neither Jones nor Curry blamed Cowan-Dickie for England’s late defeat at Murrayfield…
“We don’t apportion any blame to Luke,” Jones told the BBC. “He was just contesting the ball and the referee adjudicated it was a yellow card so we accept that and get on with it.”
Curry said: “If you’re going to win big games, you can’t rely on just one moment in the game. It’s a game of 80 minutes. We need to reflect and be better ourselves.”
Jones defends Smith sub
“We just thought George could lift the game a little bit,” Jones added. “But Marcus played really well and we were really happy with his performance. It’s a 23-man game.”
Eddie Jones reaction
“It was a good effort by our team,” he said. “Scotland were a bit better than us. They took their chances.
“There was nothing in the game. It’s a three-point game, it could have gone either way but congratulations to Scotland, they deserved their victory.
“We had opportunities in the second half to kick on a little bit and we just weren’t clinical enough.
“We’ve only got ourselves to blame. It comes down to the fact we weren’t clinical enough, but we will be next week.”
Will Macpherson at Murrayfield
As the dust settles, England will have to reflect that they have completely messed that up.
They were seven points up in the final quarter and lost their heads. There was the penalty try, Marler’s throw woe, George’s missed lineout, and the failure to even make it beyond first phase with the clock red.
Hardly game management 101.
Stuart Hogg reaction
“I’m chuffed to bits, for us to be able to come out here and put on a show and show what we’re about,” Hogg said.
“At times we were up against it, England are a fantastic side, so we’re absolutely delighted with that.
“I said this time last year that this was the start of something special and next week is a challenge to back it up and be better again.
“We’re not going to get carried away, we’ll be back to the drawing board on Monday and make sure we work incredibly hard to try and back it up.”
Will Macpherson at Murrayfield
What a game! Scotland have retained the Calcutta Cup, having won down at Twickenham last year. Were they the better team? They were certainly the most incisive. Not many of those here will forget this one for a while.
Scotland lift the Calcutta Cup again
Scotland present themselves with the Calcutta Cup, but look to have gone early as Princess Anne then comes out to do the proper presentation.