1. Scotland’s Terrible Start
Scottish fans were quietly confident as they arrived in Twickenham this afternoon. However, any hope they may have had was quickly extinguished in the opening fifteen minutes.
Fraser Brown’s early yellow card was compounded by Alex Dunbar’s missed tackle on Jonathan Joseph, then Finn Russell missed touch from a penalty and followed that up by lacking any conviction when striking a drop goal.
They then lost Stuart Hogg to concussion and Mark Bennett to a nasty looking ankle injury. Before Scotland even had time to draw breath, they were 20-0 down.
2. England’s Brilliant Start
Against South Africa last autumn, England demonstrated their ability to attack off first phase line-out ball when Jonny May went over for their first try that afternoon.
Although we haven’t seen similar strike plays since then, England showed what they have been hiding in their locker against Scotland.
Quality ball off the top of the line-out created the space for England to unleash a multitude of dummy runners and decoy lines in midfield before putting Jonathan Joseph through holes in the Scottish defence.
3. Jonathan Joseph
Having been dropped for England’s previous game against Italy, Jonathan Joseph reacted brilliantly in Twickenham. His lines of running were exceptional, as Joseph made himself available to George Ford and Owen Farrell on countless occasions.
Although Scotland didn’t show enough to test the Bath centre in defence, he was rewarded with a hat-trick of tries that could see Joseph cement his place in Warren Gatland’s Lions squad.
4. Finn Russell
Speaking of the Lions, one player who looked to be forcing his way into contention during the Championship was Finn Russell.
The Scottish playmaker was rightly praised following his performances against Ireland and Wales, where Russell’s distribution created any number of opportunities for Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour and Huw Jones.
However, in order to force his way into Lions reckoning, Russell had to underline his credentials with a positive performance against England.
Sadly for Russell, he didn’t enjoy the best afternoon in Twickenham.
5. Back-to-Back Championships For England
What Eddie Jones has done with this England squad has been nothing short of remarkable. That’s not to say Stuart Lancaster is a poor coach, but the Australian has added a ruthless streak to what was already a talented side.
After being made a subject of fun by Italy’s no-ruck tactics, England were remorseless during the opening 20 minutes against Scotland.
England took every chance that was presented to them and shut Scotland down on the gain line with their immense physicality. They went after Finn Russell and each of Scotland’s dangermen in the first half, putting them under pressure with a series of massive hits.
After Ireland’s limited display in Cardiff on Friday night, England will now be confident of landing back-to-back Grand Slams.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
On this week’s edition of The Oval Office Podcast, Lee Byrne tells us what’s gone wrong with Wales and how many dragons are likely to feature for the Lions.