How England players rated against Scotland with hope for Steve Borthwick despite defeat
A new England era ended in defeat as Steve Borthwick could not mastermind a Calcutta Cup victory over Scotland.
Duhan van der Merwe was the star of the show at Twickenham, with the Edinburgh wing cutting inside to register the decisive score of a classic Six Nations contest late on, having already notched a phenomenal individual try in the first half.
England were much improved in attack from the dog days of Eddie Jones’ tenure as Max Malins twice hit back after respective scores from Huw Jones and Van der Merwe, but defensively there were more than a few concerns as Ellis Genge’s second-half effort was answered almost immediately by Ben White before Van der Merwe’s heroics.
Standard Sport’s rugby correspondent Nick Purewal was at Twickenham to run the rule over England in Borthwick’s first match at the helm...
Freddie Steward 6
Fine as ever under the high ball and attacked with purpose, but too loose in defence.
Max Malins 7
Took his double with aplomb and threatened in attack, but again left a lot to be desired off the ball.
Joe Marchant 6
Some fine touches when England were on the front foot, though failed to build a centre pairing in defence with Farrell.
Owen Farrell (c) 7
Looked far better than in the autumn in so many ways, but still struggled for defensive alignment.
Ollie Hassell-Collins 6
The London Irish wing had precious little chance to cut loose but acquitted himself solidly enough on debut barring one error.
Marcus Smith 7
Took so many of the right options but one or two in the key final moments let him down. Still plenty of promise.
Jack van Poortvliet 7
Moved England around well for the most part and in attack showed exactly how much influence he can exert in the Test arena.
Ellis Genge 8
Capped a resurgent performance with a well-taken try. Carried more ball than any other England player in his hour on the field.
Jamie George 7
A more-than solid showing from the Saracens man only just back from concussion.
Kyle Sinckler 8
Promised to deliver for the supporters and did exactly that, getting to grips with the scrum and producing a host of vital touches in the loose.
Maro Itoje 7
Put himself about well but still the feeling is that he has another gear to reach previous heights.
Ollie Chessum 7
A very encouraging showing from the Leicester man. Just needs a bit more of a streetwise edge, but that only mirrors the whole team.
Lewis Ludlam 7
Big engine, big heart, decent performance. England still need to tie everything together though.
Ben Curry 6
Missed tackle for Ben White try proved costly in an otherwise very solid effort.
Alex Dombrandt 7
Grew into the game and delivered a try-creating carry towards the end of a hugely promsing shift.
Mako Vunipola (for Genge, 60’) 7
One big scrum not quite enough to carry England home.
Dan Cole (for Sinckler, 60’) 7
Showed all his set-piece power in that massive scrum and definitely deserves to be back.
Nick Isiekwe (for Curry, 60’) 6
Could not quite man the tiller sharply enough to stop Scotland edging away.
Ben Earl (for Dombrandt, 55’) 6
Has all the qualities to excel at Test level but England need to find a niche for him.
Ben Youngs (for Van Poortvliet, 60’) 6
Was on the field to edge England home but could not quite manage it.
Ollie Lawrence (for Marchant, 75’) 6
Had preciously little chance to shine.
Anthony Watson (for Hassell-Collins, 64’) 6
Almost cut away on one ball carry. Short-lived showing here could well lead to more action as he continues injury comeback.
Unused: Jack Walker.