Duhan van der Merwe hat-trick as Scotland beat England in Six Nations

FILE - Scotland’s Duhan van Der Merwe in action. Photo: Neil Hall/EPA

FILE - Scotland’s Duhan van Der Merwe in action. Photo: Neil Hall/EPA

Published Feb 24, 2024


Duhan van der Merwe inflicted yet more pain on England with a superb hat-trick of tries as Scotland came from behind to win 30-21 in the Six Nations at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Scotland were 10-0 down early on but, inspired by their dashing wing, they bounced back with a third-round win that ended England's bid for a Grand Slam.

Victory meant Scotland had won four games in a row against England for the first time since 1972 as they retained the Calcutta Cup.

Scotland fell behind after a try by recalled England full-back George Furbank and a penalty by George Ford.

But Scotland staged a couple of smash-and-grab raids on England's 22 as South Africa-born Van der Merwe went over twice before half-time to leave the hosts 17-13 ahead at the interval.

Early in the second half, Van der Merwe's third try -- his 26th for Scotland leaving him one short of Stuart Hogg's national record -- put the Dark Blues in command.

Finn Russell scored Scotland's other 15 points, the fly-half and co-captain faultless off the kicking tee.

The win saw Scotland rebound from an agonising loss to France last time out and put them back in tite contention with two wins from their opening three games after they started their Six Nations campaign with a dramatic 27-26 win away to Wales.

England wore black armbands as a mark of respect following the death of captain Jamie George's mother.

A team showing five changes following a narrow 16-14 win over Wales, saw Furbank surprisingly recalled by England coach Steve Borthwick in place of Freddie Steward in a bid to give the side an extra attacking edge.

It took Furbank just six minutes to justify Borthwick's faith as he opened the scoring with a well-worked try off a scrum.

Ford delayed his pass perfectly to send Elliot Daly through a gap and he in turn released the supporting Furbank.

Fly-half Ford converted and his 15th-minute penalty made it 10-0.

Scotland, having struggled initially with England's rush defence, hit back with a fine try against the run of play in the 20th minute.

Sione Tuipulotu's flat pass at first receiver released onrushing fellow centre Huw Jones.

Jones sped into England's 22 and, although hauled down, popped the ball up to Van der Merwe who went in after a neat dummy.

Russell's conversion cut England's lead to 10-7.

Van der Merwe put Scotland ahead on the half-hour mark for all his pack were struggling up front.

Furbank lost possession in midfield, with Scotland immediately going wide and there was no stopping Van der Merwe as he sped down the left touchline.

Russell converted and Scotland, who had been 10-0 down, now led 14-10.

That became 17-10 thanks to a Russell penalty after what was only Scotland's third visit to England's 22.

Ford, however, reduced England's deficit to four points with a well-taken drop-goal and Scotland led by four points at the break.

Scotland, however, pulled further clear just five minutes into the second half.

Russell's kick was charged down but replacement Cameron Redpath collected the loose ball, spun out of contact and burst through England's unsettled defence.

Redpath was hauled down but, after Scotland recycled possession, Russell's pinpoint grubber kick was expertly regathered at pace by Van der Merwe, who went in at the corner.

Russell duly converted before an exchange of penalties between Ford and his opposing stand-off left Scotland in command at 27-16 heading into the final quarter.

England replacement wing Immanuel Feyi-Waboso went over for his first Test try 13 minutes from time but it was too little too late for the visitors.


Related Topics:

united kingdomrugby