Owen Farrell Keeps Getting Better (England vs Scotland)

It wasn’t a perfect performance from the young England Fly-Half, but you couldn’t have asked for much more as well. Owen Farrell kept hitting penalties and making the right passes and decisions as the home side began their Six Nations campaign brilliantly, demolishing a Scotland side that fought hard, but wasn’t really close to causing an upset.

There were a few moments of worry at Twickenham, but they were short and few in between. There was Sean Maitland’s brilliant run that ended in a try inside the first 10 minutes, giving Scotland a surprising 5-3 lead. There was the Stuart Hogg try in the 70th minute after long stretch of English pressure inside the Scottish 22, with turnovers back and forth not finding a way to translate on the scoreboard. Maitland went off again, kicked it forward for Hogg to pick up, send forward himself and chase down his own kick for the try.

But when England score on almost every opportunity they have, especially early on, regardless if it’s a try or a penalty, a team like Scotland don’t have much to do. They hardly retained possession all match long (62-38 in England’s favor), and simply committed too many soft penalties while their players couldn’t hang on to balls from less than perfect passing.

England are different than from the previous decade. They don’t have the huge, physical side, but flair and actually looking to score on every attempt isn’t such a bad thing to be known for. Chris Robshaw did a very good job in the trenches, while Ben Youngs had his moments of brilliance with a couple of exciting runs, including in the 53rd minute, eventually setting up the try for Geoff Parling, scoring his first ever try for England.

Billy Twelvetrees also got his first fiver for the national side, as Robshaw and Ben Morgan did a good job in setting him up for the score after another Scotland penalty. The finest of tries was Parling’s, thanks to Young’s run and Farrell finding the Lock with a fine pass.

England kept on looking for more points, even when Scotland had no chance of winning the game, needing to come up with two more scores and time running out; Danny Care got his stamp on the match shortly after coming in with an 80th minute try to set the score at 38-18.

There wasn’t much complaining about the way England played: Their line moved very well on defense and they kept looking poised to score with every possession. Their final passes in the Scotland 22 weren’t perfect all the time, but with this kind of mindset and performance, their looking like the early favorites to win the tournament, not to mention the headache they’re causing in picking a Lions squad.

Image: Guardian