MacLeod: Scotland wanted open game

Scott MacLeod has revealed Scotland's forwards did not intend to get involved in an arm-wrestle with England's fearsome pack in the Calcutta Cup. [more]

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Scott MacLeod has revealed Scotland’s forwards did not intend to get involved in an arm-wrestle with England’s fearsome pack in the Calcutta Cup.

The Borders lock made his first Six Nations Championship start in the 18-12 victory over England, the first time Scotland had beaten their oldest rivals since 2000.

It was a triumph built on a magnificent defensive performance – whether in the open spaces of Murrayfield or in the close exchanges among the forwards.

With Scotland’s forwards nearly a stone a man lighter than their English counterparts, it was expected that Andy Robinson’s side would gain the upper hand at the set-pieces.

But the smaller home pack stood firm, providing a solid base in the scrum – which was a major problem against Wales – and winning an acceptable share of line-out ball despite the absence of the suspended Scott Murray.

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MacLeod, who was drafted into the side in place of Murray, said: "We stuck in well in the scrum. There were a couple of times that they got a bit of a push on us but we did pretty well.

"The line-outs were okay, nothing brilliant but we won our fair share. They are hard-running men but we stopped them in their tracks – the tackling and defence was unbelievable.

"Big Jason (White), Simon Taylor and Marcus di Rollo put in some big hits and I don’t think they liked to be knocked back – who does? – but we did, even the big lads.

"There was no particular plan to take them on up front, in fact our idea was to run them about the pitch but we never really did that all game to be honest.

"We did end up taking them on up front and I’m not saying we came out on top – but we did on the scoreboard."

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