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What Do The Scots Need To Get A Win Against England
Posted Mar 10, 2011 by Shaun Edwards
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Whilst Wales v England is probably the most vehement in the world of Rugby, you can put Scotland v England down as close second (and England v Australia third – jeez, everyone really does hate England). However, this year England are undoubted favourites in their Six Nations tie. So what do Scotland need to do to pull off an upset?
Give Ben Foden a tough time of it. Whilst Foden has been solid (if unspectacular) so far in the tournament, he has undoubtedly demonstrated the biggest mouth in the otherwise quiet England camp. Just the reason the Scots need to really place him under the cosh with a few high balls and a couple of tough challenges from Lamont.
Improve the line breaks. In the Six Nations so far, England have been breaking the line easily. Scotland managed to do so just twice against Ireland despite 192 passes in the game’s duration. Max Evans shares Chris Ashton’s pace, but really needs to hone in on his confidence in order to excel as the England man does when accelerating away from the line.
Forwards! Despite their good performances so far, it musn’t be forgotten that the England pack is still seriously lacking in experience, and will likely to be susceptible to pressure. That means Scotland must put them under some! With a front row that is indeed capable of doing so, there will be little available excuses should they fail to take advantage of the lack of experience.
Keep it tight early. In their three previous matches, Scotland have conceded tries in the 2nd, 8th and 6th minutes of the match, immediately putting themselves under excess pressure. They will need to stop England doing the same, because Martin Johnson’s side will take full advantage of the Scots having to be almost immediately chasing the game.
Pressure Toby Flood. If England’s main man in the tournament so far does indeed play, then it’s about time someone really got into him. Excellent as he has been so far, he’s barely been touched in a sport that is reliant on harsh physical contact. With his history of Achilles problems, he’ll likely want to avoid any real collisions, which could work to the Scot’s advantage if they choose to go after him more than he’s experienced in the tournament so far.
Whether the Scots will be able to prevent Johnson’s side from a likely clean-sweep remains to be seen, but doing the above will make a huge difference.