Match Centre: Scotland retain Calcutta Cup with 20-17 win over England

Finn Russell kicked two penalties and a conversion
Finn Russell kicked two penalties and a conversion

Scotland 20-17 England, Murrayfield Stadium

Scotland successfully managed to retain Calcutta Cup as they edged out England 20-17 in the opening round of the Six Nations at Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday.

This was the first time since 1984, Scotland defeated England in successive years and now have recorded three wins out of the last five encounters against the red rose team.

The result also means England have now lost four out of their last six games in the Six Nations competition as they now face Italy in the second round while Scotland will lock horns with Wales on Saturday.

England were without Owen Farrell, Courtney Lawes and Manu Tuilagi as Tom Curry was named the captain for the first time. Even though the visitors dominated the opening 10 minutes, they could not get the points they needed and in the 12th minute, Scotland had a scare as Ali Price was forced to leave the field with a head injury allowing Ben White to make his debut. Price returned back to the field after completing Head Injury Assessment in the 25th minute.

The opening points in the game came at the end of the opening quarter as Scotland were penalised for right in front of the posts at the ruck and Marcus Smith kicked a penalty goal to take England to a 0-3 lead.

Scotland responded back strongly a minute later as Stuart Hogg went past Maro Itoje and Nick Isiekwe before offloading to Darcy Graham, who sent an inside pass for Ben White to touchdown and Russell kicked the conversion to make it 7-3 before England narrowed down the gap around the half-hour mark after Jamie Ritchie was penalised and Smith kicked his second three-pointer making it 7-6.

After absorbing the pressure for most part of the first half, Scotland went into the break with a four-point lead as Russell kicked a penalty goal after an infringement from Kyle Sinckler.

Smith landed a penalty goal eight minutes into the second half bringing down the gap to just one point before the Harlequins fly-half was once again seen in action as he went over the line this time in the 54th minute after collecting an offload from Ben Youngs making it 10-14.

Smith stretched England's lead to seven points following another three-pointer as Scotland were penalised for offside making it 10-17 but Scotland clawed their way back into the game as Luke Cowan-Dickie had knocked-on a crossfield kick from Russell which saw him sin-binned and a penalty try was awarded to the hosts.

With the extra man on their side, Russell landed the decisive blow in the 72nd minute as his second penalty game ensured the Dark Blues went on to complete a thrilling win.

Team line up:

Scotland: Hogg; Graham, Harris, Johnson, Van der Merwe; Russell, Price; Sutherland, Turner, Z Fagerson, J Gray, Gilchrist, Ritchie, Watson, M Fagerson.

Reserves: McInally, Schoeman, Nel, Skinner, M Bradbury, White, Kinghorn, Tuipulotu.

England: Steward; Malins, Daly, Slade, Marchant; Smith, Youngs; Genge, Cowan-Dickie, Sinckler, Itoje, Isiekwe, Ludlam, Curry (capt), Simmonds.

Reserves: George, Marler, Stuart, Ewels, Dombrandt, Randall, Ford, Nowell.