Scotland Travel to Twickenham With Everything to Play for in Round 4
Last updated: March 8, 2017 by Leon Marshal
|Last season:||Scotland 9 – 15 England|
|Competition:||RBS Six Nations|
There’s plenty on the line in round four of the Six Nations as Scotland travel to Twickenham for what will be the 135th meeting between the two sides. Scotland haven’t managed a victory over the men in white at Twickenham since 1983 and the Calcutta Cup has been safely guarded in the trophy cabinet at Twickenham since 2006. The game marks the first meeting between the two nations and remains the oldest international rivalry in the international game. To further exacerbate the fierce grudge held between the sides, results this weekend will prove to be crucial come the final round. Victory for Jones’s England would bring them one step closer to achieving a consecutive Grand Slam, whilst an away win for Scotland would put Verne Cotter’s side in contention to claim their first Championship since 1999.
Despite remaining the only undefeated side in the Championship, England have been far from their best in this year’s campaign. They stumbled over the finish line against France in the opening weekend and were clinical, yet still somewhat fortunate against Wales in the second. Thanks to some innovative interpretation of the laws on the part of the Italians, the defending champions were also made to look rather foolish at the breakdown for large parts of the third. Saturday’s clash will be a real test of England’s character now. Results over the last few weeks, as well as some impressive performances in the Autumn tests, have shown Scotland are no longer the easy targets they have been in years gone by. If Cotter’s side can feed off the positive energy that will surely still be lingering around the Scottish Camp after their surprise victory over Wales and focus on producing an 80-minute performance, they may well catch England cold on Saturday afternoon.
Scotland must be praised for their resounding spirit at Murrayfield two weekends ago as they triumphed over the Welsh. They showed great character and accuracy and fought hard to record a convincing 29-13 victory, ending a decade of heartache and proving that they are now a force to be reckoned with. They face an entirely different challenge this weekend in England; a formidable opponent, especially in front of their home crowd at the 82,000 capacity Twickenham Stadium. Scotland, however, will travel with far greater assurance than they have done in previous years. As ever, they will be fired up and raring to go. The main difference is now, with the likes of Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Finn Russell and John Barclay, they have the personnel to cause a real upset.
England welcome Billy Vunipola back into the fold. The big number 8 has made a full recovery from the knee injury that kept him out for the first three rounds and comes onto the bench alongside brother Mako.
Anthony Watson returns to make his first appearance in this year’s campaign. The prolific try scorer comes onto the bench in place of Johnny May, who has been dropped from Jones’s matchday 23.
Hamish Watson returns to the back row to start alongside captain John Barclay and number eight Ryan Wilson. He is the only change to the squad that beat Wales two weekends ago.
Injured Edinburgh back-row, John Hardie, is replaced by teammate Cornell du Preez, who comes onto the bench to provide cover.
|England:||Marler, Hartley, Cole, Launchbury, Lawes, Itoje, Haskell, Hughes, Youngs, Ford, Daly, Farrell, Joseph, Nowell, Brown|
|Subs:||George, Vunipola, Sinckler, Wood, Vunipola, Care, Te’o, Watson|
|Scotland:||Reid, Brown, Fagerson, Gray, Gray, Barclay, Watson, Wilson, Price, Russell, Visser, Dunbar, Jones, Seymour, Hogg|
|Subs:||Ford, Dell, Berghan, Swinson, Du Preez, Pygros, Weir, Bennett|
|England 2016 – Present||Scotland 2016 – Present|
|2nd||IRB World Ranking||5th|
|9 (7)||(at home) Wins (2016 – Present) (away)||7 (1)|
|58-15 vs. Fiji||Biggest win (2016 – Present)||43–16 vs. Georgia|
|0 (0)||(at home) Losses (2016 – present) (away)||(3) (1)|
|–||Biggest Defeat (2016 – present)||35-25 vs Ireland||41||Tries Scored (2016 – present)||38|
|27||Tries Against (2016 – present)||30|
|1||2016 Finishing Place||4|
|31||Six Nations Titles||16|
- England are second behind Ireland in the leader board for metres made, clean line breaks, carries and tries scored. If both sides emerge victorious after round four they will meet on the final weekend in Dublin for what will surely be an epic, winner-takes-all showdown.
- Scotland haven’t beaten England at Twickenham since 1983. A victory this weekend would see the Calcutta Cup return to Scotland for the first time in nine years and would also put Verne Cotter’s men in a fantastic position to win the Six Nations title.
- Another victory for England this weekend would see them climb to 18 consecutive wins at international level and equal the record currently held by the All Blacks. Another win on the final weekend would see them hold the record outright.
- Despite suffering a few injuries in key positions, Scotland showed great courage and composure to steer themselves past Wales at Murrayfield two weekends ago. They will be hoping to use this momentum and put an end to England’s impressive winning streak.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Try-scorer|
|06/02/2016||Six Nations||Scotland 9 – 15 England||G Kruis ’13|
|14/03/2015||Six Nations||England 25 – 13 Scotland||J Joseph 13′|
|08/02/2014||Six Nations||Scotland 0 – 20 England||L Burrell 14′|
|02/02/2013||Six Nations||England 38 – 18 Scotland||S Maitland 9′|
|04/02/2012||Six Nations||Scotland 6 – 13 England||C Hodgson 41′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
For the first time in some years, Saturday’s Six Nation’s clash between England and Scotland has a whole lot more than just pride riding on it. The side that emerges victorious will not only have earned the Calcutta Cup bragging rights for another year, but the Triple Crown and possibly the Six Nations Championship is also at stake here. The extent to which Scotland have improved over the last few months coupled with England’s sloppy play at times at times during the competition makes this a very difficult one to call. We think England will edge it, but only just, with a 10-point winning margin. If you think the Scottish will pull off an upset, you could even opt for Scotland to win by a 5-point margin. Top prices are currently showing at Ladbrokes.