Six Nations: Stuart Lancaster and Scott Johnson reflect on Calcutta Cup clash

Last Updated: 09/02/14 8:25am

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Stuart Lancaster admitted to a degree of frustration that England could not put more points on Scotland in the Calcutta Cup.

A 20-0 scoreline barely reflected England's total dominance at Murrayfield and although Lancaster was pleased with a highly-effective performance, he accepted that more tries should have been scored.

"We were pleased with a lot of aspects, but are frustrated that we didn't convert more of our opportunities because we dominated the second half," the head coach said.

"We were pleased with a lot of aspects, but are frustrated that we didn't convert more of our opportunities because we dominated the second half. There were chances there that we didn't take and we definitely have regrets over the points we left out there."
Stuart Lancaster

"There were chances there that we didn't take and we definitely have regrets over the points we left out there.

"We played some really good stuff in difficult conditions. Scotland had to defend desperately."

The centre partnership of Billy Twelvetrees and Luther Burrell again impressed and Lancaster was delighted by their contribution.

"The work that (assistant coaches) Andy Farrell and Mike Catt have done with Luther and Billy is really paying off," Lancaster said.

"The timing and number of options going into the line were excellent and Luther's try was a good case in point.

"They're going well as a partnership, especially given that they've only trained together for two weeks and have played twice.

"They'll need to be on top of their game against the Irish centres, who are clearly world class."

Another pleasing aspect to emerge from the trip to Edinburgh was the lack of injuries with Joe Launchbury suffering a dead leg and Jonny May departing with cramp. Both will be available to face Ireland in two weeks time.

Lancaster insists England are back in the title frame after atoning for their 26-24 defeat by France on the opening day of the Championship.

"Even though we lost to France we always felt we're still in it," Lancaster said.

"It does set us up for an important game against Ireland. Ireland have played two, won two and have played really well. But we're confident also."

Few positives

Scotland boss Scott Johnson could find few positives. "Extremely frustrated," was the coach's response when asked how he felt in the wake of the loss.

"I've got a sore neck from looking down at one end of the field during the second half. It was incredibly frustrating.

"They had twenty set pieces in our 22 to our one. The sheer weight of that tells you you're going to miss some. And some of those missed tackles allowed them to get down in our 22."

"I've got a sore neck from looking down at one end of the field during the second half. It was incredibly frustrating."
Scott Johnson

The head coach once again pointed to the character of his side, adding: "There's a lot of naivety in our team, I keep speaking about it.

"We have a lot of younger players in our backline who haven't played much rugby. We've got a pretty inexperienced ten, twelve, thirteen. Even Hoggy (Stuart Hogg) who was away with the Lions hasn't played many Test matches.

"But there's a lot of athleticism there too. I genuinely think these guys are part of Scotland's solution. I feel that we have to try and play some of these young kids and get them through.

"I feel, athletically, we can get a lot out of this group. They're not perfect; they're a long way off perfect, and they will be frustrating to Scottish fans, but I'm trying to build so that when Vern (Cotter) takes over there's enough maturity and depth and athleticism around this squad, so that we can compete against anyone.

"But there was a lot of character out there: we faced twenty set pieces in our own 22 against a world-class driving side. We let them in when we had a yellow card, but other than that we held on.

"There are a lot of questions about picking the right players, I've heard it all before. But trust me, there is resolve in this group.

"They're good enough athletes, they've got a bit of resolution, they're naive and sometimes their skill lets them down and puts them under pressure, but i think the majority of them can provide Scotland with a really competitive national team against anyone."

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