England began their Six Nations tournament with a comfortable 38-18 win against old rivals Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday.
England produced a performance full of energy, aggression and ambition that brought tries for Chris Ashton, Billy Twelvetrees, Geoff Parling and Danny Care in a 38-18 Six Nations victory over Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday.
Any doubts about whether their oldest rivals would drag England back to earth after their stunning victory over New Zealand two months ago were dispelled early on, though the Scots also contributed to an open and highly entertaining game - unusual for a Calcutta Cup clash.
England led 19-11 at halftime via four penalties from the excellent Owen Farrell and Ashton's converted try.
Scotland, without a win at Twickenham for 30 years, had their own moments of enterprise but were blown away in the second half.
"We played with real pace and tempo and I thought the intensity was good," man of the match Farrell said in a pitchside interview.
"It's important to keep the scoreboard ticking over. The boys earn the penalties and you just want to reward them by kicking the points over."
None of the England squad had been born last time Scotland won at Twickenham and that 1983 victory was only their second in the last 75 years in west London.
They had won only two of their last 15 Six Nations games and their last outing was a home defeat by Tonga that led to the resignation of coach Andy Robinson.
England in contrast were coming off their remarkable 38-21 victory over New Zealand two months ago and brimming with confidence.
The Scots, however, scored the opening try out of nowhere when fullback Stuart Hogg was allowed to run a deep kick back virtually unchallenged and New Zealand-born winger Maitland marked his debut by squeezing over in the corner.
England remained on the front foot though and scored their own try through Ashton, his 17th from 30 tests, after a Farrell charge-down caused mayhem in the Scottish defence.
Farrell, whose goalkicking has been superb all season, duly converted and also split the posts with all four first-half penalty attempts as England's pressure forced the visitors into desperate killing of the ball.
A Greig Laidlaw penalty kept the Scots in touch at 19-11 down at the break but within three minutes of the restart the game was effectively over.
Terrific England passing ended with debutant Twelvetrees arriving like a train to collect a popped-pass and cap an impressive all-round debut with a try.
Twelvetrees, in for the injured Manu Tuilagi, was England's only debutant, in contrast to coach Stuart Lancaster's first game in charge a year ago when he handed out seven new caps as England ground out a win at Murrayfield.
A terrific wide pass by Farrell after a great Ben Youngs break then enabled second rower Parling to score his first international try and stretch the lead to 31-11.
Hogg scored a length-of-the field try 10 minutes from time after both teams ended the game flinging the ball around like Sevens players but the score was a rare escape from their defensive duties.
They tackled manfully to keep relentless England attacks at bay but were pierced for the fourth time right at the death as replacement scrumhalf Care squirmed over.
"I'm really pleased with the scoreline," Lancaster told reporters. "We've been building steadily, getting more consistent.
"That New Zealand game gave us a lot of confidence and what we'll do is continue to build on that.
"Fair play to Scotland, their defence was outstanding, work rate and commitment. We've got good guys to come off the bench and they made a difference also."
England travel to Dublin next Sunday to face an Ireland team who also got off to a winning start against Wales on Saturday while Scotland host Italy on Saturday in a match that already looks like a potential wooden spoon decider.
Date created : 2013-02-02