England setup a three way race for the Six Nations crown with Ireland and Wales, as theyovercame a stubborn Scotland.  They siton top of the Six Nations table, with a four –point advantage over nearesttitle challengers Ireland, and are in the hunt for their first title since 2011.

With thewin the Red Rose retained the Calcutta Cup, which is competed for annually,only by England and Scotland; the first Calcutta Cup match was played in 1879and, since then, over 100 matched have taken place.

Englandwere fast out of the blocks at the start of the first-half, and it was the Bathduo of George Ford and Jonathan Joseph, who stampeded through the Thistledefence; Joseph scored a try in theseventh minute, which was converted by Ford.

Bennettstepping inside in the 21st minute and levelled the scores at 7-7,after the conversion from Greig Laidlaw. Ford and Laidlaw then exchanged penalties to level at 10-10 once more,before the latter then had another penalty to edge ahead 10-13 for Scotland, justbefore the half-time whistle, the first time the Scots had led England athalf-time at Twickenham in 25 years.

The Thistle’slead only lasted for three minutes after the interval, as Jack Nowell maderapid progress down the left-flank, Ford got the ball and accelerated under theposts.

His added conversion made it17-13, and a few minutes later he extended the advantage to seven points.

Scotlandremained only a converted try deficit going into the last 15 minutes, as thundersof home support echoed,when Nowell got his late try in the left-hand corner, toseal the win. Scottish 32-year wait fora victory at Twickenham still goes on.

Although George Ford’s performance wasexceptional, as he demonstrated his best game yet at international level, theRed Rose were inconsistent and spectacularly wasted six clear try-scoring opportunities.They might yet rue for not scoring more points against the Scottish, in aweek’s time, when they face France in the crucial encounter that will determinewhether they win the first silverware of Stuart Lancaster’s reign. 

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