Finn Russell hailed the character shown by Scotland after he was named Guinness Six Nations Man of the Match in their historic 38-38 draw against England at Twickenham.
The fly-half scored one of six unanswered tries for Gregor Townsend’s side as they fought back from 31-0 behind to surge into the lead with for the first time with just four minutes left to play.
But a George Ford try and conversion salvaged a draw for Eddie Jones’ men in the final play of the game and denied Scotland the greatest comeback in top-level international history.
And while Russell was delighted with the never-say-die attitude of his Scotland teammates as they retained the Calcutta Cup, he admitted it was frustrating they were unable to hold on.
“I’m gutted to be honest,” said Russell. “At half-time, everyone would have written Scotland off, it was 31-7 and for us to come out and have a second half like that was outstanding.
“A draw is good but we need to win these games when they are close. I had an argument with Gregor [at half-time] as they were telling us to kick.
“When we kicked it they just ran it back and cut us open but when we ran it we were getting over the gainline. In the first half we were caught off guard by England, similar to two years ago.
“But second half we came out, we had nothing to lose and we just played our rugby. We played well, we kept out of our half and we scored some great tries.”
Tries from Jack Nowell, Tom Curry, Joe Launchbury and Jonny May saw England race into a 31-0 lead in the first half, before Scotland cut the deficit through Stuart McInally.
But it was all Scotland after the restart as a Darcy Graham double, plus tries from Magnus Bradbury, Russell and Sam Johnson gave Scotland the lead before Ford’s late intervention.
Scotland finished the Championship in fifth place with one win and a draw, although Russell took plenty of encouragement from their thrilling finale to Super Saturday.
“We just played some great Scottish rugby in the second half,” Russell continued. “There have been a lot of injuries, but the boys who have filled in have been outstanding.
“I think the first half here was what everyone expected of our campaign, but we did ourselves right by coming out in the second half and playing really well.
“We’ll see about the celebrations tonight. It would have been better if we won, but it’s a good way to finish the campaign with the Calcutta Cup back in Scotland.”