Home Sport Scots conquer finally Twickenham after 38-year wait

Scots conquer finally Twickenham after 38-year wait


Scotland’s South African-born winger Duhan van der Merwe scored the only try of their first away victory against England at Twickenham since 1983.

Scotland’s Duhan van der Merwe celebrates scoring his team’s try against England with teammates. Picture: Andrew Boyers, Action Images via Reuters

LONDON – Scotland ended their 38-year wait for a win at Twickenham with an 11-6 success over reigning champions England in the teams’ Six Nations opener on Saturday.

The visitors’ winger Duhan van der Merwe scored the only try of their first away victory in the tie since 1983 and just the fifth occasion in their history.

His score ultimately proved the difference between the sides in a match where the hosts paid dearly for their indiscipline, even though both home captain Owen Farrell and opposition fly-half Finn Russell kicked two penalties apiece.

The away side dominated territory and possession in the first half yet they only led 8-6 at the break before Russell’s second penalty proved the only score after half-time.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause in memory of several England internationals who had died in recent months, including former captain John Pullin.

England, with British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland looking on from the otherwise largely empty stands, almost had an early score when lock Maro Itoje charged down Scotland scrum-half Ali Price’s clearance kick.

But England then infringed at the ensuing ruck.

The hosts found themselves repeatedly getting on the wrong side of Irish referee Andrew Brace, conceding four penalties in the opening five minutes.

When they infringed in front of their posts, Russell – the inspiration behind a comeback from 31-9 down in a 38-38 draw at Twickenham two years ago – kicked his outfit into a 3-0 lead.

Scotland were growing in confidence, with hooker George Turner deliberately throwing the ball long to debutant centre Cameron Redpath.

Their pressure saw England reduced to 14 men in the 24th minute when No 8 Billy Vunipola was sin-binned for a high tackle on Russell.

Four minutes later, Scotland almost had their try when Russell’s cross-kick bounced just too high for van der Merwe as the left wing looked to touch down.

But in the 30th minute the visitors’ dominance was rewarded.

After an England scrum missing injured prop Mako Vunipola and fellow front row Joe Marler, who dropped out of the squad for family reasons, had repeatedly come under strain near their own line, Russell’s cross kick was knocked back by Scotland wing Sean Maitland.

The ball was worked across field, with Redpath and Hogg involved before Turner found van der Merwe.

England full-back Elliot Daly missed a tackle and van der Merwe forced his way over despite flanker Mark Wilson’s last-gasp effort to stop him.

Russell was off-target with the conversion, but Scotland still led 8-0.

Farrell reduced the deficit with a long range penalty and just before half time it was Scotland, with Vunipola back on the field, who were a man down when a replay check saw Russell yellow-carded for tripping England scrum-half Ben Youngs.

Farrell kicked the ensuing penalty and Scotland led by just two points at the break.

But Hogg’s penalty kick for an attacking line-out near England’s line gave Scotland good field position.

Following several drives, England prop Ellis Genge was penalised and Russell, having completed his 10-minute suspension, kicked Scotland into an 11-6 lead.

But he was off-target in the 53rd minute after yet another England infringement, this time for obstruction.

Full-back Hogg, however, kept England pinned in their own half with a succession of excellent long-range kicks on an increasingly rainswept pitch.

With eight minutes left, Hogg missed a penalty from just inside England’s half but Scotland were not to be denied a famous victory.


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