SIX NATIONS: England launch Jones era with win over Scotland

England's George Ford celebrates victory at the final whistle
England's George Ford celebrates victory at the final whistle


England launched the Eddie Jones era by emerging from a tricky RBS 6 Nations opener against Scotland at Murrayfield with a 15-9 victory founded on a dominant second half.

George Kruis and Jack Nowell crossed either side of the interval and Owen Farrell kicked a penalty and a conversion as the Scots, who trailed 7-6 at half-time, were overpowered up front.

Jones picked a starting XV containing 512 caps to begin healing the wounds left by last autumn’s World Cup failure and was rewarded with the result that has offered his regime breathing space ahead of the visit to Rome on Sunday week.

It was a team absent of any debutants and chosen purely to win the Calcutta Cup, but back-row forward Jack Clifford won his first cap off the bench.

Jones has had only two weeks to stamp his mark on England and on the evidence of 80 minutes at Murrayfield, his team has orders to attack from all areas of the pitch and take quick line-outs whenever viable, although the tactics became more conservative - “pragmatic”, in Jones’ words - after the interval.

The execution and decision-making were frequently wayward, however, and familiar failings at the breakdown, in discipline and a lack of cohesion in attack were all too evident.

But there was ruthless precision in the build-up to Nowell’s try, which swept the match out of Scotland’s reach, as forwards patiently punched holes in the defence before the Exeter wing was released into the corner.

Vern Cotter’s men entered the game with the belief they could wrestle back the Calcutta Cup for the first time since 2008 and while they were the more creative, their play was often too frantic.