Luther Burrell and Dylan Hartley were again outstanding as England retained the Calcutta Cup © Getty Images
Rugby News Saints impress as England raid Scotland
There were big performances from a number of Saints in Scotland over the weekend as England retained the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield and the Under-20s also opened their win account for 2014 in the Six Nations.
A poor pitch in Edinburgh didn’t make for the most entertaining of encounters, but England put their Paris heartbreak firmly behind them with a dominant 20-0 win – again ignited by a try from Luther Burrell.
The big centre crashed over for a second score in as many caps and with Dylan Hartley landing all 17 of his lineout throws - in tandem with caller Courtney Lawes and ever willing jumper Tom Wood - the Saints impact was again a sizeable one. There was also game time for Lee Dickson as a replacement.
Saints skipper Hartley was understandably pleased with how the set-piece functioned but also quickly turned attentions to the next big challenge in a forthnight's time.
“We’re happy but we’ve got to enjoy today and then move on,” the Saints skipper told RFUTV. “We’ve got next week to use as a learning week because a few points went missing out to there, let’s be honest. But the positives are that we nilled an international side.
“The lineout is always an important platform and while we didn’t put together too many fancy moves for the backs to get playing, we did make a lot of ground out of our driving maul, which is a useful weapon.
“The lineout has been good for the last couple of weeks so the challenge now is to keep that going against a good side in Ireland. It’s an important game. If we want to win this tournament we have to win every game from here on in and that starts with them.”
The tone for that triumph had been set by their junior charges on Friday evening, England Under-20 cruising to a seven-try, 48-15 win over their Scottish counterparts in Galashiels.
All four Saints were involved – Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi and Tom Stephenson from the start and Sam Olver and Howard Packman as replacements, the former making his debut at Under-20 level.
Like Burrell, Stephenson would go over from the centres for the second week running and having come on shortly after half-time, Olver also opened his points account with a pair of conversions and a smart assist for the visitors’ fifth of the evening.
Sandwiched between the two Scotland-England battles was a disappointing defeat for George North and Wales in Dublin, Ireland maintain their winning start to the 2014 Six Nations by a comfortable 26-3 margin.
All 10 Saints internationals can now enjoy a weekend off before Round 3, when England welcome Ireland to Twickenham, the Under-20 setup heading to Franklin’s Gardens for their first home tie of 2014 on Saturday, February 22nd.
The Saints-studded Junior World Champions also welcome Irish opposition, with victory key as they chase down the unbeaten duo of France and Wales in defence of their Under-20 Six Nations title. Tickets are already on sale for the clash and you can book online by CLICKING HERE!