Report: Scotland 30-21 England

Report: Scotland 30-21 England

Scotland won a fourth consecutive Calcutta Cup, a stretch last achieved in 1896, with victory over England at Scottish Gas Murrayfield in a five-try thriller.

The 128-year wait was worth it as a rampant Duhan van der Merwe crashed over for three tries, with co-captain Finn Russell landing a perfect six kicks to boot.

England drew first blood with a superbly taken George Furbank try. Off the back of a scrum, Ben Earl fed Danny Care, who popped to Elliot Daly, and Furbank was slipped through the resulting gap for his first England try, converted by George Ford [0-7, 5 mins].

Zander Fagerson went off for a Head Injury Assessment and the visitors clearly fancied the task, when Ford clipped over a penalty after Elliot Millar Mills was adjudged to have collapsed a scrum.

The home support were stunned, but Scotland went about their business plan unperturbed, and the capacity crowd were brought along for the ride when Duhan van der Merwe, who had not long before given away a penalty for holding onto the ball in the ruck, made amends in the manner only he knows how.

Sione Tuipulotu’s run off the back of another scrum skipped a beat in the English defence and let Huw Jones have the run of the Scottish Gas Murrayfield pitch, to the tune of around 30 metres.

Jones was alert enough to pop the ball when tackled, with van der Merwe doing the rest, even offering a dummy to finish in the right-hand corner for his 24th Scotland try, to tie level with the great Ian Smith and Tony Stanger, as well as injured contemporary Darcy Graham.

The came another moment of wonder from the prolific and insatiable van der Merwe. With England probing towards the touchline, a skewed ball by Ford towards Furbank’s head landed in the arms of Huw Jones, who popped to van der Merwe on his own 10-metre line.

From a seemingly innocuous position (if one exists with the giant galloper on the pitch), the winger pinned his ears back, outpaced Tommy Freeman in a matter of steps and duly careered, laser-like, to hare home for Scotland try number 25. Russell’s outstanding touchline conversion extended the difference [14-10, 30 mins].

Ethan Roots gave a needless offside penalty away which Russell dispatched [17-10, 34 mins}, before Ford calmly stemmed the Scottish tide [17-13, 37 mins].

Half-time: Scotland 17-13 England

Scotland went close to an early second half crossing, only for Sam Underhill to force a penalty with an excellent jackal turnover. It was a stay of execution for England, however, when van der Merwe scored another, stunning, third try.

From Cam Redpath’s splintering run through the middle of the park, a quick ruck gave Russell the chance to assess the options out wide and his glorious, inch-ideal kick took one bounce before being gobbled up by a feasting Duhan – now boasting 26 tries in a frankly preposterous 37 caps. Russell collected another beauty of a conversion [24-13, 46 mins].

England again had to stem the tide and Ford added a penalty to reduce arrears to eight points [24-16, 50 mins], but the hosts replied in kind when Ben Earl was called for offside, Russell obliging with consummate ease [27-16, 57 mins].

Elliot Millar Mills came back on for Zander Fagerson for good, and made a mockery of his international experience levels in winning a penalty turnover which Russell landed to continue his perfect record from the tee [30-16, 65 mins].

14-points in pursuit but with fewer minutes left on the clock, England showed their class when Immanuel Feyi-Waboso took a short ball from Ben Spencer to romp home; Fin Smith’s conversion hitting the post made for a collective gasp of appreciation from the Murrayfield faithful [30-21, 67 mins].

The scoreboard wasn’t called into action again, but the last ten minutes passed with plenty incident. From Jack Dempsey and Ewan Ashman combining to hold England up to win a scrum, to Andy Christie’s shuddering tackle on Furbank, and ending with van der Merwe being shown a yellow card at the same time as being named Player of the Match, the 142nd meeting of the world’s oldest rivals ended with Scotland claiming a fourth straight Calcutta Cup, the likes of which cannot be referenced in living memory.

Full-time: Scotland 30-21 England


Scotland: Blair Kinghorn (Toulouse), Kyle Steyn, Huw Jones, Sione Tuipulotu (all Glasgow Warriors), Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby); Finn Russell (Bath Rugby, co-captain), Ben White (Toulon); Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby), George Turner, Zander Fagerson (both Glasgow Warriors), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby), Rory Darge (co-captain) Jack Dempsey (both Glasgow Warriors).

Replacements: Ewan Ashman (Edinburgh Rugby) (for Turner 52 mins) Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs) (for Schoeman, 61 mins), (Elliot Millar-Mills (Northampton Saints (for Fagerson, Head Injury Assessment), 7 mins, then 61 mins), Sam Skinner (Edinburgh Rugby) (for Gilchrist, 68 mins), Andy Christie (Saracens) (for Ritchie 52, 40 mins), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors for Ben White, 63 mins), Ben Healy (Edinburgh Rugby) (for Redpath, 73 mins, blood replacement), Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) (for Tuipulotu, 41 mins).

England: George Furbank, Tommy Freeman, Henry Slade, Ollie Lawrence, Elliot Daly; George Ford, Danny Care; Ellie Genge, Jamie George (captain), Dan Cole, Maro Itoje, Ollie Chessum, Ethan Roots, San Underhill, Ben Earl.

Replacements: Theo Dan (for George, 68 mins), Joe Marler (for Genge, 61 mins), Will Stuart (for Cole, 55 mins), George Martin (for Roots, 46 mins), Chandler Cunningham-South (for Underhill, 55 mins), Ben Spencer (for Care, 46 mins), Fin Smith (for Ford, 62 mins), Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (for Freeman, 59 mins).

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)

Assistant referees: Chris Busby and Eoghan Cross (both Ireland)

TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa).

Crowd: 67,144

Guinness Player of the Match: Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland)

Spread the word

Newsletter Sign-up

Sign-up for our newsletter today to receive the latest updates, content and releases from Scottish Rugby.


Principal Partners