England regained the Calcutta Cup in atrocious conditions at Murrayfield as Ellis Genge’s late try helped to seal a 13-6 victory over Scotland to keep their Six Nations hopes alive.
The two fierce rivals knew that the loser on Saturday evening would almost certainly be out of the title picture, which had only fuelled the talk of the “war” that would be witnessed and the “battle” for Calcutta Cup supremacy.
But neither side expected to be battered quite so hard by Storm Ciara, with strong winds and torrential rain arriving minutes before kick-off and having a major impact on the contest that will not live long in the memory.
England held a slender 3-0 lead at the break through Owen Farrell’s early penalty, although the skipper was still far from his best and his record from the tee included three missed efforts in a constant battle with the elements.
When Scotland fly-half Adam Hastings levelled the scores soon after the restart, it was left to wonder whether either try line would be breached at all, and when the visitors saw what they thought was a try disallowed in the 69th minute, echoes of the 1962 3-3 draw here at Murrayfield were ringing through the stadium.
But replacement prop Genge provided the match-deciding moment 10 minutes from time as the English pack drove the fiery loosehead over the line, and though Farrell and Hastings added additional penalties in the closing minutes to ensure Scotland claimed a second losing bonus point of the championship, England ensured they got back to winning ways ahead of their return to Twickenham for the visit of Grand Slam favourites Ireland.
Full report to follow…