Aidan Smith: The thistle strangled the rose, no one could remember when England had been so impotent

We’re getting quite used to this. The sight of a bunch of Scotsmen all alone in a sporting arena, the place completely deserted, big, daft grins on their faces, and on the latest occasion they’re holding up a cup.

Just try and stop this man celebrating ... Hamish Watson at the moment of Calcutta Cup triumph.

Dads on a stadium tour? Or have they broken into the ground, jemmied the padlock on the gates, and this time burgled the trophy room? If so, who’s nicking Hamish Watson?

Not me, sarge, have you seen the way he plays? Barroom brawler. Total psycho. Martin Scorsese must have his number on speed-dial for fight scenes.

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At Twickenham that applied to quite a few in dark blue. And at the final whistle, another hoodoo vanquished, Twickenham was just like Belgrade last November. The same joyous yelping into a void. How very Scottish.

We wait 22 years for the football team to bury their demons, and 38 years for the rugby team to boot theirs into touch, and none of us is allowed anywhere near the venues for these historical feats. As a result, drinking in the home rockets some more.

Not just home drinking but home rule and hopes for it? Nicola Sturgeon, the captain of the SNP - small but swaggersome like Stuart Hogg, the captain of the triumphant XV - has despatched her telegram of hearty congratulation and will be hoping for a boost in the polls for the May elections and beyond.

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But never mind all of that - back to the rugby. When the first Scot to show, to go on the charge, was George Turner, the third-choice hooker, it seemed like something big might be happening. And if Cameron Redpath on his debut, demonstrating poise and confidence in inverse proportion to his youthfulness and skinniness, could stand up to Twickenham and its tortures then so could the rest of the team.

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Redpath’s dad Bryan lost four times there. Four years ago England racked up 60 points. Two years ago the greatest comeback in the history of everything was snatched from us in the final seconds. Then there was the 2015 World Cup quarter-final against Australia, the ref’s shock decision followed by his sprint to the loo. Hopefully he’s still running.

Uh-oh, we thought on Saturday, this is only going to annoy England. Any minute they’ll swap the big guys for some really big guys. They did but it made no difference. The thistle strangled the red rose, never let the whiteshirts play. No one could remember when England had last been this impotent.

Remember when Scotland used to give away penalties all the time? Remember when they used to drop the ball? I can’t recall a single fumble. We played with adventure when opportunities arose, intelligence when it was most required (such as when Finn Russell went for his wee lie down) and courage throughout.

Am I out of a job now? Part of this gig has been digging up cauliflower-eared veterans of our measly four previous Twickenham victories - Sandy Carmichael, PC Brown, Roy Laidlaw, John Rutherford, David Leslie, etc - to ask how they did it. I’ll try and find new reasons to keep that lot in our memories, but hail the new heroes.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as wished the Scotland Rugby squad good luck ahead of their Six Nations match against England this afternoon. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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