SCOTLAND failed to keep the momentum from their World Cup campaign running into the Six Nations when they were defeated by England in the opening match of the tournament.
Vern Cotter’s side lost the Calcutta Cup 9-15 at Murrayfield on Saturday.
1. Scotland may not be born-again try machines
The World Cup treated us to a sight we haven’t seen for a while - a Scotland team that could score tries. However, whereas the likes of Samoa and Australia played an open game, which allowed the Scots their own opportunities, England shut things down impressively. Scotland haven’t scored a try at Murrayfield against the auld enemy since 2004 and didn’t come close on Saturday.
2. We can’t blame Craig Joubert this time
The South African ref broke our hearts back in October as his wrong decision, combined with some self-inflicted wounds, cost Scotland a place in the World Cup semi-finals. This time Scotland had only themselves to blame as they were second best in every phase of the game and England were deserved victors.
3, Scotland just don’t do opening wins
The 2006 victory over France remains the only occasion when Scotland have opened a Six Nations campaign on a winning note. It is a horrible record which puts the men in dark blue on the back foot from the off and makes it difficult to build any momentum.
4. All hope is not lost
It was a crushing disappointment to lose the game but there have been much worse performances than that in the last few years. Scotland had some decent passages of play, too often ruined by errors and coughing up possession, but they were within a converted try of England and by no means disgraced.
5 Eddie Jones should come back to Edinburgh in August
The new England coach could probably pull off a one or two star reviewed Edinburgh Fringe comedy show. He was beaming after the match and quipping from the hip. At one stage he speculated whether the cup England might play for next, in Italy, was the ‘Panini Cup’.