England 6 Scotland 11: Lacklustre England stunned by Scotland
Try telling that to any Scot tonight.
In fairness, the 11-6 scoreline does not reflect the true nature of this Calcutta Cup clash; it was never that tight in the rivals' tournament opener.
The imperious visitors - who so often struggle in a championship they have not won since 1999 - were led by inspirational captain Stuart Hogg and utterly outplayed Eddie Jones’ side.
Scotland, with Jonny Gray such a force, Finn Russell proving flashes of brilliance and young Cam Redpath so accomplished on debut, made their traditional old foes look utterly inept.
It was certainly one of the most benign performances of Jones’ six year reign with lacklustre England - hamstring by awful ill-discipline - failing to ever get going, all their superstars looking so, so ordinary.
Indeed, given how they had been outgunned in the first period, England would have been overjoyed at only being 8-6 behind at the break.
Scotland had dominated for the majority of the half, putting the hosts under intense pressure, feeding off England’s lack of discipline and proving accurate and direct.
Jones’ side conceded seven penalties inside the opening 18 minutes alone, a staggeringly bad return.
When Billy Vunipola was sin-binned in the 24th minute, referee Andrew Brace finally losing patience with the home side’s persistent infringing, Scotland scored the first - and only - try of the game.
That said, it took them another six minutes to do so, Tom Curry having denied Hamish Watson with one fine tackle and then Duhan van der Merwe agonisingly seeing Rusell’s crossfield kick bounce over his six foot five inch frame just as the big winger looked set to score.
Nevertheless, van der Merwe’s time would come moments later; Russell launched a high kick from deep that opposite winger Sean Maitland did wonderfully well to rise and claim, putting Scotland on the attack.
The ball was crisply switched to the left with the aid of Redpath - the 21-year-old debutant centre who instantly looked like a Test player - and van der Merwe stepped infield to brush aside Elliot Daly and score.
Russell, the gifted fly-half had slotted a sixth minute penalty and generally tormented England, could not convert so, for all their authority, the lead was just 8-0 lead.
England earned only their second penalty in the 33rd minute - a first in open play - and it was no surprise Owen Farrell opted to kick it.
As he trotted back into his own half for the restart, Vunipola re-ented the fray.
Soon after, Russell was deemed to have tripped Ben Youngs as the England scrum-half stepped through near the Scottish 22.
He had managed to get a flailing arm to his opponent, too, but it was negligible and - after being alerted to the offence by the television match official - Brace brandished his yellow card for the second time in the game.
Farrell duly booted the penalty and Scotland were left facing the prospect of starting the second period down to 14 men.
Still, they managed that eight minute period perfectly, playing like seasoned champions.
They kicked one penalty to the corner and retained possession for endless phases, drawing penalties as England struggled for any control even against 14 men.
When they infringed yet again, Russell returned to the field to kick them further ahead in 49th minute.
He should have added another when Maro Itoje infringed at a Scottish line-out but pushed it wide in the 54th minute.
Ordinarily, that could prove crucial against a side of England’s talent but it did not.
Full-back Hogg became increasingly influential, whether with one mazy midfield run to put England further on the back foot, or a stunning 50m spiral kick that pinned them right back deep in their own 22.
It was no surprise to see Jones make some changes but replacement scrum-half Dan Robson almost box-kicked backwards with his first touch, summing up the Red Rose display.
Ollie Lawrence lost it forward on a rare attack and then Farrell kicked to no one, Hogg once more clearing it perfectly downfield.
When England erred again, Curry being caught in possession, Hogg tried a long-range penalty from almost 50m but that fell just wide, too.
Again, it did not matter; hapless England were in no position to capitalise. This was Scotland’s night. Years from now, no one will be able to say ‘I was there.’
But no Scottish folk will care tonight and this performance will be long remembered. It might linger in England’s memory, too, but for all the wrong reasons.
England: Daly; Watson (Malins 75), Slade, Lawrence (Ford 69), May; Farrell, Youngs (Robson 56); Genge, George (Cowan-Dickie 56), Stuart (Williams 63), Itoje, Hill, Wilson (Lawes 53), Curry, Vunipola (Earl 67).
Scotland: Hogg; Maitland, Harris, Redpath, van der Merwe; Russell, Price (Steele 69); Sutherland (Kebble 64), Turner (Cherry 67), Z Fagerson (Nel 64), Cummings, J Gray, Ritchie (R Gray 66), Watson, M Fagerson (Graham 64).
Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)