Skip to main content

England beat Scotland to keep their Grand Slam hopes alive

Substitute Tom Croft scores England's only try in their narrow Twickenham victory over rivals Scotland.
Substitute Tom Croft scores England's only try in their narrow Twickenham victory over rivals Scotland.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • England remain on course to win their first Six Nations Grand Slam since 2003
  • England defeat Scotland 22-16 for their fourth successive victory this year
  • A win in Ireland next Saturday will seal England's first Grand Slam for eight years
  • Scotland have lost all their four matches and need to beat Italy to avoid finishing bottom
RELATED TOPICS

(CNN) -- England remain on course to win their first Six Nations rugby Grand Slam since 2003 after beating rivals Scotland 22-16 in a scrappy encounter on Sunday.

Substitute Tom Croft scored the home side's only try, with Toby Flood and Jonny Wilkinson kicking 17 points, as Scotland's losing run at Twickenham was extended to 28 years.

The visitors matched England on the try count, with wing Max Evans going over the line for a late score, but were ultimately beaten by booting over less points.

With the first-half ending level at 9-9, England needed some inspiration after the break, and coach Martin Johnson made four substitutions in the 65th minute in the hope of finally breaching Scotland's stubborn rearguard.

And Johnson's bold move was to pay dividends just three minutes later when Croft crashed over after being found by Mark Cueto, although TV replays suggested it could have been a forward pass.

Wilkinson converted the try to give England an unassailable 19-9 lead and although Scotland bravely fought back, the home side held on for a vital win.

England now travel to Ireland next Saturday knowing a win will give them their first Grand Slam in eight years.

Should England lose, then Wales have a chance of overtaking them for the Six Nations title, but they would need to win handsomely against France in Paris --and hope England suffer a heavy defeat in Dublin -- to snatch the title in unlikely circumstances.

Meanwhile, Scotland will now be aiming to avoid finishing bottom of the table after their fourth successive defeat, when they play host to Italy at Murrayfield.