England’s new era under Steve Borthwick got off to a inauspicious start on Saturday as two brilliant tries by Duhan van der Merwe helped a tenacious Scotland to a brilliant 29-23 victory at Twickenham in a superb Six Nations opener.
Scotland twice led in the first half with a try by Huw Jones and a spectacular 60-metre effort by Van der Merwe, who carved through five defenders. England hit back with two for recalled winger Max Malins then edged 13-12 ahead at half-time with a penalty by Owen Farrell.
It continued to swing in a high-energy second half as Ellis Genge barged over for England, with scrumhalf Ben White quickly slipping through for Scotland’s third try to keep it as a one-point game heading into the final quarter.
A penalty apiece kept it that way until Scotland put together a superb attack to send an unstoppable Van der Merwe over in the corner four minutes from the end to retain the Calcutta Cup.