England beat Scots by 20

England joined Ireland as winners on the opening day of Six Nations action as they saw off Scotland 38-18 at Twickenham. [more]

England beat Scots by 20

England joined Ireland as winners on the opening day of Six Nations action as they saw off Scotland 38-18 at Twickenham.

Chris Ashton, Billy Twelvetrees, Geoff Parling and Danny Care all crossed for the hosts, with Sean Maitland and Stuart Hogg scoring for Scotland.

Owen Farrell added 18 points courtesy of four penalties and three conversions, with Greig Laidlaw slotting two penalties and a conversion in reply.

A first Farrell penalty gave England an early 3-0 lead but it was Scotland who claimed the game’s opening try through debutant Maitland with 10 minutes gone. The New Zealand-born wing, who moved to Glasgow from the Crusaders late last year, finished off a fine move that involved both backs and forwards wide on the right.

Maitland dived over from close-range with his second involvement in the move after patient build up play allowed Laidlaw to go blind from the back of a ruck.

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Laidlaw couldn’t add the extras from just a metre in from touch, though, and England were soon back in front when Farrell slotted his second penalty three minutes later.

A third three-pointer from the Saracens playmaker pushed England four points clear but Laidlaw cut the gap to one as the game hit the 20-minute mark.

England extended their lead by opening their try-scoring account on the half hour thanks to Ashton’s impressive finish. Ashton crashed through from Ben Youngs’ flat pass despite the best efforts of Ruaridh Jackson and Hogg, with the TMO confirming that the former league star had successfully stretched for the line to claim his 17th Test try.

Farrell’s fourth success from the tee made it 16-8 and his fifth pushed England 11 points clear after 38 minutes when Johnnie Beattie was pinged for a high hit on Ben Morgan.

Scotland had the last word of the opening half, though, as Beattie made amends with a gutsy run that resulted in a second penalty from Laidlaw with the final play.

It was England who were first off the mark in the second period at a point when things could easily have gone either way. Hard yards from captain Chris Robshaw and No8 Morgan provided the platform, with Twelvetrees joining Maitland in grabbing a five pointer on debut.

Farrell’s conversion made it 26-11 and England were further ahead with 54 minutes played when the fl-half’s perfectly-weighted long pass gave Parling a free run in out wide. The score came moments after Joe Launchbury had seen a try disallowed for an earlier offence from Tom Youngs as England asserted their authority at HQ.

Farrell finally missed from the tee but Stuart Lancaster’s men were effectively home and dry. Scotland grabbed a consolation when Hogg beat Toby Flood to his own kick ahead following a superb counter attack with nine minutes left but England finished with a flourish as Care dotted down under the posts late on.

England now turn their attentions to their trip to Dublin to face the Irish next Sunday, while Scotland host the Italians at Murrayfield a day earlier.

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