England head coach Eddie Jones believes his side demonstrated their leadership and character in a 13-6 victory over Scotland at BT Murrayfield as they got their first victory of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations.
Ellis Genge’s try was the difference in a match where both sides battled to get to grips with tricky conditions in Edinburgh, as an Owen Farrell penalty was all that separated the two sides at the break.
Adam Hastings then levelled the scores early in the second half with a kick of his own, before Genge barrelled over to seal the win with ten minutes remaining and regain the Calcutta Cup.
It was a low-scoring but compelling game in Edinburgh as the strong wind forced both teams to vary their tactics but Jones was pleased with his side’s response after defeat to France in Round 1.
“This was a test of leadership, and how the team was able to adapt to the conditions, and I thought our leadership was absolutely outstanding,” Jones said.
“Tom (Curry) and Sam (Underhill) were both disappointed with their performance last week, they were probably just a little bit off the pace last week, but this week they were right on it, and both of them were significant contributors.”
The win for England gets them back on track in this year’s Championship after a defeat to France on the opening weekend where they went down 24-17 in Paris.
After victory in Edinburgh, next up for Jones’ side is a home match with Ireland when the Guinness Six Nations resumes in a fortnight and he is well aware of the threat Andy Farrell’s side will pose when they come to visit.
“They’re a good team and have been for a long time, they didn’t have the World Cup they would have liked, but they have been the outstanding team of Europe for the last three years,” added Jones.
“We’ve got a reasonable record against them recently, but we know they’ll prepare well for the game and come with difference facets to the game, so we know we will have to prepare well.”
Farrell’s kicking from the tee once again helped England to victory at Murrayfield, with the 28-year-old slotting two penalties and a conversion in treacherous conditions.
And the fly-half was pleased with the all-round contribution of his side, as they adapted to the unpredictable conditions.
“I thought it was a good performance, our attitude was where it needed to be, especially with the weather, so we’re pleased,” Farrell said.
“It was tough, I think everybody could see that, it was unpredictable so for us to stay at it for 80 minutes. It was a tough, well-fought test match, and the weather made it that at times. It is what it is, we dealt with what was in front of us, and I felt we did that well.
“We will look to improve, as we did this week, there’s still a lot that we can do better and we look forward to doing that.”