herald

Tuesday 21 October 2014

English to scalp Scots

THE Calcutta Cup has not lived up to its tradition for some time as Scottish rugby has gone from average to mediocre.

They have not beaten England since 2008. This trend is not likely to be reversed any time soon as Scotland coach Scott Johnson bids to use Dutch import Tim Visser and New Zealand import Sean Maitland to increase his strike options out wide.

There is a sincere degree of excitement about the potential of the combination of these two and the talented 15 Stuart Hogg as a back three.

Sadly, the likelihood of these men receiving the ball in the right areas of the field with enough space to cause problems is limited.

It is debatable whether Stuart Lancaster's England came of age against the All Blacks in November or whether it was another false dawn to rival that of their electric defeat of Australia in November 2010.

Lancaster will probably have to wait until England arrive at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday week to find out where exactly they stand in the Six Nations, if not in world rugby.

Verdict: England

England: A Goode; C Ashton, B Barritt, B Twelvetrees, M Brown; O Farrell, B Youngs; J Marler, T Youngs, D Cole, J Launchbury, G Parling, T Wood, C Robshaw (capt), B Morgan.

Scotland: S Hogg; S Maitland, S Lamont, M Scott, T Visser; R Jackson, G Laidlaw; R Grant, D Hall, E Murray, R Gray, J Hamilton, A Strokosch, K Brown (capt), J Beattie.

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