England Finish Rugby Six Nations With Convincing Win Over Scotland

Alex Guest@AlexGuestContributor IMarch 21, 2009

LONDON - MARCH 21:  Chris Paterson of Scotland (R) and Simon Taylor of Scotland tackle Riki Flutey of England during the RBS 6 Nations Championship match between England and Scotland at Twickenham on March 21, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

The first five minutes were played at incredible pace with lots of open continuity play from both teams. The stage was set for a great Calcutta Cup confrontation.

Soon, though, it seems England's ill-discipline might creep in. With their first attacking platform inside Scotland's half, a penalty is awarded to the Blues for a front-row infringement.

A second penalty puts Scotland ahead. 3-0.

Then Harry Ellis is knocked out putting in a good tackle. Danny Care replaces.

And soon Scotland have an opportunity. Thom Evans breaks clean through and is only stopped by a tremendous chase and tackle by Ugo Monye putting him into touch right by the corner flag.

Yet England are fighting hard and attacking from positions across the field. Soon a well-worked attack sees Ugo Monye in over the corner. 5-3.

A second try follows on soon after by man of the match Riki Flutey, converted by Flood. 12-3.

England are showing real attacking flair.

Scotland are unbowed. Blair breaks clean through the midfield. He's looking left and right to offload, but Danielli arrives too late to help him out. He goes to ground. The ball gets kicked on too far and England remain out of trouble.

With five minutes left on the clock, English forwards' attacking pressure sees Julian White go over for a third try, but Chris Patterson manages to get his leg between ball and turf. Held up.

Still England keeps coming. Playing penalty advantage, England attack the try line but Monye knocks on five metres out. Flood kicks the penalty. 15-3 at half time.

England have had two thirds of the possession and two thirds of the territory. Scotland have had two chances but have not been able to finish. A perennial problem.

England, meanwhile, are showing what they can do, although they could be further ahead. Indiscipline is still affecting their game.

And even though they're attacking and linking well, some opportunities peter out when support is slow to get to the breakdown, notably when Worsley takes the ball on, perhaps a little too far.

The second half begins in typical fashion for both England and Scotland. Scotland is doing nothing useful while England begins to give away stupid penalties in good attacking positions. A third penalty in a row and Phil Godman comes in for the kick from 50m. 18-9.

With 20 minutes to go, the England backs and forwards are linking up well. Great attacking lines from Cueto, Flutey, Flood and Armitage look dangerous.

Still indiscipline threatens to upset the English game. Phil Godman misses a second opportunity and the score stays at 18-9.

It's not long before England give Scotland another chance. Easter holds on to the ball on the ground and gives away an opportunity to kick from 25m out. 18-12.

So now it's looking like Scotland could keep plodding away and just let England make all the mistakes, give away penalties and cut down the deficit.

England's forwards work the ball up the field. Danny Care, seeing nothing on, goes for the drop goal. 21-12.

Eight minutes to go and it's slipping away from Scotland.

And then we're down to 14 men apiece, as White, a replacement for Vickery, has to go off injured. A disappointing way to finish the championship.

There is time for one last try for England. The ball goes wide from an uncontested scrum, eventually reaching Tait who touches down unopposed in the corner.

Final score 26-12.

Scotland continue to disappoint. England's indiscipline is the only thing keeping the Scots in the game. All 12 of their points come from England's erratic behaviour.

England can be pleased with their game. Fine, flowing rugby. A mixture of forward grunt and cutting lines from the backs. Yet they must come out at halftime more switched on or better sides will put ten points on them before they know what's happening.

And, of course, they've got to cut out the indiscipline. You cannot give away 13 penalties when you're not even under real pressure.

The author watched the game online thanks to Zattoo.