After the humiliation suffered during the World Cup, England got their Six Nations off to a winning start under their new coach Eddie Jones with a 15-9 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield.
Hard-fought to say the least, England’s back line resisting any threat from the attacking back line of Scotland, who only managed to convert three penalties.
Testy, scrappy and ugly at times, there was little to choose between England.
England coach Jones said that he always had faith that England would eventually prevail if they could get their set-piece functioning smoothly.
“At times in the first half we didn’t have any good scrum ball so I thought George [Ford] did quite well,” said Jones. “But we definitely got our set-piece right by the end. Once again our lineout was very good in the second half and our scrum came to life. Dan Coles showed why before the World Cup he was rated the best tighthead prop in the world.
“Billy Vunipola also played very well and his line break was fantastic, and as well as good carries he also had good defence. I also thought James Haskell was good. I think our captain Dylan Hartley did well, but it was a difficult game – we got penalised six times when we had the ball in possession so it was extraordinarily hard to get any continuity.