Kruis and Nowell tries get Eddie Jones era off to winning start in Calcutta Cup
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | February 6, 2016
Scotland 9-15 England
- Kruis crosses for opening try
- Laidlaw penalties bring Scots back into it
- England have narrow 7-6 half-time lead
- Nowell goes over in second-half
- Farrell then Laidlaw score pens
Jones era starts with victory
England got their 2016 Six Nations campaign off to a winning start thanks to George Kruis and Jack Nowell tries at Murrayfield, with Scotland’s only points coming from the boot of Greig Laidlaw.
Eddie Jones, the first foreign coach of the Red Rose, had a 15-9 victory north of the border to start his stint in charge with a professional, but uninspiring, display.
Boasting a fantastic record in recent Calcutta Cup clashes, losing just twice since 2000, England showed more endeavour, but not the athleticism and aggression pledged by their Australian boss.
A low-key opening to this Auld Enemies encounter saw George Ford’s drop goal attempt drop wide, but subsequent hesitation from Scotland full back Stuart Hogg cost the hosts dear before the quarter hour.
Kruis gets first try
Referee John Lacey called for a 5m scrum, and lock Kruis stretched to ground the ball over the line, with Owen Farrell converting to give England a 7-0 lead. That pesky habit of the Scots conceding the first try continued.
Home skipper Laidlaw led the response for Vern Cotter’s crew, kicking two penalties as Red Rose discipline deteriorated as the first-half wore on. He overcooked another attempt over the posts, though, and had he got it the Tartan team would’ve gone in with their noses in front.
Scotland spilling possession within 5m of England’s tryline proved costly midway through the first 40 minutes, while Finn Russell’s late drop goal effort was dragged wide and also a moment to lament for the home team.
Nowell also nets in Red Rose win
Although Farrell missed a kick and conversion, a second Red Rose try 10 minutes into the second-half helped to settle things. Slick carries and passing allowed Nowell to go over and extend England’s advantage to 12-6.
While, Cotter’s crew survived a sustained spell of visiting pressure when Ben Young’s passed the ball to Hogg, penalty points from Farrell and Laidlaw made the score 15-9 to the Red Rose.
In reaction to this victory, Coral have cut England’s odds of a first Six Nations success since 2011 to 11/8 (from 13/8).