Six Nations 2013: England Outclass Resolute Scotland
By Nick Howson | February 3, 2013 5:02 AM EST
England (19) 38
Try: Ashton, Twelvetrees, Parling, Care
Pens: Farrell 4
Conversions: Farrell 3
Scotland (11) 18
Try: Maitland, Hogg
Pens: Laidlaw 2
England retained the Calcutta Cup and sparked their Six Nations Championship into life after running in four tries to hold-off a resolute Scotland at Twickenham.
Debutant Scott Johnson put the visitors ahead early on with the opening try but three penalties from Owen Farrell and Chris Ashton's score had England ahead at the break.
Another debutant in centre Billy Twelvetrees and then Geoff Parling both scored their first international tries to seemingly put Stuart Lancaster's home and dry, and despite Stuart Hogg going over in the corner, replacement Danny Care's last minute try put the gloss on an impressive display.
Australian Sean Maitland led Scotland for first time as they attempted to avenge 30 years of hurt at Twickenham in the oldest fixture in rugby union history and improve on a winless autumn and a run of one win in their last 10 Six Nations fixtures.
New Zealand born Maitland won his first cap on the wing while Dougie Hall started at hooker for the first time since 2007 in place of Ross Ford and Johnnie Beattie returned at eight.
But after an autumn program which was masked over by a thrilling win over world champions New Zealand, Stuart Lancaster's England began the tournament in contrasting circumstances; as joint favourites for the championship.
Twelvetrees made his debut ahead of the injured Manu Tuilagi and Joe Marler started instead of Alex Corbisiero at loosehead, with the London Irish prop out for the tournament with a knee injury.
Former Lions and Scotland captain Jim Telfer had stoked the fire in the week, claiming England's side were arrogant after their stunning win over the All Blacks last December began the game looking to prove their doubters wrong.
And despite Farrell kicking an early penalty after Ben Morgan broke into the Scotland half, it was the visitors who claimed the opening try after Hogg exposed a flat England line going within five meters, before debutant Maitland went over in the corner.
Farrell re-established England's lead with two quick-fire penalties, with Greg Laidlaw adding one of his own to reach 100 career test points, as both sides began the game willing to play expansively rugby.
Eventually England were rewarded for working the ball through the phases, with a series of offloads finding Ashton, who went over from close range for his 17th international try.
A dangerous tackle from Beattie on Marler allow Farrell to make it five from five before Laidlaw replied on the stroke of half-time with a penalty of his own.
No sooner had the first half began that England notched their second try with Youngs beautifully setting up the onrushing Twelvetrees, who capped an impressive performance with a try on his maiden test appearance.
After Scotland's impressive start, with Kelly Brown disrupting the England break-down and then counter-attacking to great effect, the hosts began to assert their authority, and after Joe Launchbury was denied his first international try, Farrell's audacious pass found lock Parling who touched for the third try of the afternoon.
But as England rung the changes and began spraying the passes they were caught on the break again as Maitland kicked through allowing Hogg to kick on and go over in the corner and go within two converted tries of the lead.
However, it worked as only temporary respite as England notched a fourth try in the final minute as replacement Care went this way and that, to go over under the posts to hand the pre-tournament favourites the perfect start to their Six Nations campaign amid an impressive performance from Scotland under interim boss Johnson
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; B Morgan
Replacements: D Hartley (for T Youngs); D Wilson (for D Cole); M Vunipola (J Marler); C Lawes (for J Launchbury); J Haskell (for B Morgan); D Care (for B Youngs); T Flood (for B Twelvetrees); D Strettle (for A 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; J Beattie
Replacements: R Ford (for D Hall); M Low; G Cross; A Kellock (J Hamilton); D Denton (for A Strokosch; H Pyrgos (for G Laidlaw); D Weir; M Evans (for J Beattie)
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