One of rugby’s oldest rivalries continues on Saturday as Scotland welcome England to Murrayfield for the 127th Calcutta Cup clash.
Another tight tussle in store at Murrayfield
These two old adversaries have met 10 times at Murrayfield since the start of the Six Nations (4 Scotland wins to 6 for England) and just three of those have seen wins of eight or more points.
England triumphed by 26, 22 and 20 points in 2002, 2004 and 2014. While Scotland’s 12 point victory in 2018 was their biggest home win over England since 1986.
Given the way England played in round one and the lack of attacking threat they posed, Scotland’s handicap start of eight points looks very big. Games in Murrayfield are tight affairs and the home side will see this is as a massive chance to retain the Calcutta Cup for third year, something they haven’t done since the early 1970’s.
So for Scotland +8 would be my first play in this game.
Jones fine record to continue
One of the big positives for Scotland in round one was the performance of centre Huw Jones, who looked back to his best in Dublin.
Jones is a powerful ball carrier who boasts a scoring record of 10 tries in 24 appearances. But it is his record against England that really interests me, in two games Jones has four tries, scoring braces at Twickenham in 2017 and Murrayfield in 2018.
It is also worth noting that those tries came against the same England midfield that he will face on Saturday (Owen Farrell and Jonathan Joseph) and those two looked way below their usual standards last weekends.
I can’t see Scotland being held without a try on Saturday and with his impressive record in games against “the Auld Enemy” Jones would be my selection to score anytime at 11/2.