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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 February 2007, 17:52 GMT
England 42-20 Scotland
Twickenham - 3 February, 2007
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By Phil Harlow

Jonny Wilkinson
Wilkinson made a remarkable return to the international scene

England: (17) 42
Tries: Robinson 2, Wilkinson, Lund
Cons: Wilkinson 2
Pens: Wilkinson 5
Drop-goal: Wilkinson

Scotland: (10) 20
Tries: Taylor, Dewey
Cons: Paterson 2
Pens: Paterson 2

Jonny Wilkinson and Jason Robinson made fairytale returns as England returned to winning ways in the opening RBS Six Nations match against Scotland.

Wilkinson scored 27 points, including a controversial second-half try, while Robinson grabbed two tries as England put Scotland to the sword.

England shrugged off Simon Taylor's try for a 17-10 lead at the break, and they cut loose in the second half.

Magnus Lund crossed on 73 minutes and Rob Dewey grabbed a late consolation.

Wilkinson's tally beat Rob Andrew's previous highest haul for England against Scotland and he was awarded the man-of-the-match award.

Every camera lens was trained on him from the moment he came out for his pre-match kicking practice - and Twickenham's favourite son did not disappoint after shaking off some early rust.

606: DEBATE
Devon R

A loose pass and an overhit up-and-under that let Hugo Southwell call a mark suggested Wilkinson was not at his best, but they proved mere teething trouble.

Scotland withstood intense early pressure early on, and England saw the outstanding Harry Ellis denied by the video referee after Chris Paterson somehow got his hands under the ball.

But it was a temporary reprieve as Wilkinson's famous goalkicking routine - not seen in an England shirt since the 2003 World Cup final - returned, and he made no mistake with a straightforward penalty.

England did not build on that platform initially though, as needless penalties were conceded by Louis Deacon and Martin Corry, and Paterson levelled the scores.

Straight from the kick-off though, England regained the lead after a brilliant tackle from Joe Worsley turned over possession for Wilkinson to slot a drop-goal.

Scotland fly-half Dan Parks kicked away much of the possession that came his way, but the tactic paid dividends when Taylor capitalised on a missed England line-out to burst over for his try.

Jason Robinson
Robinson crosses for his first try of the match

Wilkinson cut the gap with another penalty after Taylor offended at the line-out, and a scorching Ellis break set up the chance for another successful kick at goal.

England then scored their first try under new coach Brian Ashton, and it had the former Bath man's imprint all over it.

Andy Farrell, Mike Tindall and Wilkinson all ran straight and drew their man to give Robinson, making his comeback from international retirement, space to score in the corner.

Wilkinson had stitches to repair a cut to his lip during the break, but it made no difference to his performance whatsoever.

An early Paterson penalty brought the gap down to four points, but two Wilkinson kicks soon put England in the clear again.

England's second try effectively sealed the match, and it came courtesy of a bad Sean Lamont error as the winger failed to deal with Ellis' kick through and allowed Robinson to pounce.

Yet another searing Ellis break then set up Wilkinson for a try which truly delighted the Twickenham crowd.

The fly-half took the ball from Ellis and dived in the corner, dotting the ball down one-handed although replays suggested he had a foot in touch.

But it was Wilkinson's day, and he swept in the touchline conversion with ease.

Scotland did not let their heads drop though, with Chris Cuister a dogged presence behind a struggling pack.

Flanker Magnus Lund scored in the corner after a long England drive tied in Scotland's defenders to give him a free run to the line.

Wilkinson came off on 73 minutes to a standing ovation as Scotland continued to look to get their own game going.

Scotland substitute Rob Dewey grabbed a deserved consolation late on, but England regained the Calcutta Cup in style to mark the beginning of the Ashton era.


England: Morgan; Lewsey, Tindall, Farrell, Robinson; Wilkinson, Ellis; Freshwater, Chuter, Vickery (capt), Deacon, Grewcock, Worsley, Lund, Corry.
Replacements: Mears, White, Palmer, Rees, Richards, Flood, Tait.

Scotland: Southwell; S Lamont, Di Rollo, Henderson, Paterson (capt), Parks, Cusiter; Kerr, Hall, Murray, Kellock, Hamilton, Taylor, Callam, Brown.
Replacements: Ford, Jacobsen, Murray, Hogg, Lawson, Dewey, R Lamont.




SEE ALSO
Pundits on England v Scotland
04 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union
England v Scotland statistics
03 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union
England v Scotland clockwatch
02 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union
Wilkinson: The Comeback King
04 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations pundit predictions
02 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations team guides
02 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union


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