England ignored clear Sir Clive Woodward instructions in Six Nations defeat to Scotland | Rugby | Sport
England’s Six Nations hopes have already taken a monumental dent after a demoralising defeat to Scotland in the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Calcutta Cup. Sir Clive Woodward is aware of a factor or two about successful the Six Nations and all three of his victories as England head coach had one factor in widespread – recording an emphatic win in the primary spherical.
“This is going to be a fascinating Six Nations that will, with its empty stadiums, test our notions of the ‘vital’ importance of home advantage,” he advised the Daily Mail.
“But there is one old adage of which I am certain and that is: you usually need a fast start to win the Championship.
“You want to win your first recreation. Explode out of the blocks. Let the opposition do all of the chasing, worrying, regrouping and panicking. Life turns into a lot easier if you are able to do that, win effectively and transfer on to the following match with no points.”
But Jones’ group clearly didn’t get the memo as they lacked any gusto or shape as Scotland outgunned them for the first 30 minutes.
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Sloppy play resulted saw England rack up penalties at an alarming rate and the fast accumulation eventually ended with Billy Vunipola being shown a yellow card for a high tackle on Finn Russell in the 23rd minute.
That gave Scotland the impetus to push forward with England unable to get out of their own half.
They were hanging on with some hearty defending – namely from Ellis Genge and Jamie George – but the Scots eventually got their breakthrough as Duhan van der Merwe went over the line.
England looked in pieces but they soon rallied at the end of the half with two penalty kicks from Owen Farrell to miraculously pull them within two points despite being outplayed and outclassed.
The momentum was fully with England heading into the restart, particularly with Scotland down a man with Russell still in the sin-bin for his trip at the end of the first half.
But, once again, England were slow out of the blocks as Scotland pushed into the 22-metre line.
The ill-discipline continued as Genge was penalised before Russell returned to the field just in time to kick over the posts for three.
But while the penalties England were conceding failed to deteriorate, the main concern came with their lack of movement with the ball in hand.
Scotland had up to 75 per cent possession at one point and continued to peg England back inside their own 22.
Despite Scotland’s dominance, England remained just a converted try away from an unlikely win so the opportunity was there for a grandstand finish.
But England failed to work up any kind of threat with some poor kicking and countless knock ons with Scotland holding on for a famous win.
For England, it leaves them with more questions than answers just one game into the 2021 Six Nations.