Mixed emotions after Calcutta Cup draw says Scotland’s Stuart McInally

Scotland captain Stuart McInally with the Calcutta Cup. Picture: PA.
Scotland captain Stuart McInally with the Calcutta Cup. Picture: PA.
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Stuart McInally accentuated the positives after Scotland were denied a famous Twickenham victory on Saturday.

Scotland retained the Calcutta Cup for the first time in 35 years, after Saturday’s 38-38 draw with England at Twickenham followed the win at Murrayfield 12 months ago.

Hooker McInally’s first-half try, following a charge-down of an Owen Farrell kick, shifted the momentum as Gregor Townsend’s men overturned a 31-point deficit to lead 38-31 with three minutes remaining.

But George Ford scored a try which he converted himself to deny Scotland a first win at Twickenham since 1983 and just a second win of the 2019 Six Nations. There were mixed emotions among the players, admitted captain for the day McInally, who was watching the final plays after being substituted.

“It’s a weird one. With a minute to go, you’re thinking ‘we’ve done this’,” he said. “It’s disappointing to concede, right under the sticks as well. That was the game gone to the draw. There’s so many positives to take forward, putting one of the best teams in the world under heaps of pressure in their own backyard.

“Credit to them in the first half, they played some great rugby, but we dictated the game in the second half which was really pleasing.

“We’ve done something we’ve not done in a long time, which is retain the Calcutta Cup, which means a lot to us.”

Scotland were without Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Huw Jones, John Barclay and Ryan Wilson due to injuries and finished fifth, with their solitary victory coming in round one against Italy.

McInally added: “We need to be honest about the whole Six Nations. We’ve showed up in parts, played well second half last week against Wales, second half this week. We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves. That was a really good second 40 [minutes].”