GEORGE FORD dramatically saved England’s blushes with a try on the very last play of an incredible Calcutta Cup clash just as his embarrassed side looked set to squander a 31-0 lead against Scotland.
Brilliant Scotland - who have still not won at Twickenham since 1983 - sunk to their haunches having missed out on the greatest comeback in Six Nations history, the hosts eventually rescuing a draw.
The visitors had been 31-0 down after just 29 minutes but, remarkably, Gregor Townsend’s side levelled the game at 31-31 by the hour mark to leave stunned England holding on.
Scotland - depleted and 10/1 outsiders before kick-off - then took the lead as Finn Russell, their superb fly-half, sent Sam Johnson cutting through the middle, the centre swatting off England full-back Elliot Daly (twice) and Jack Nowell to go between the posts.
Greg Laidlaw converted for a 38-31 lead but, in heartbreaking fashion, they could not hold on.
England kicked a penalty to the corner and, though they repelled the drive, the pressure kept coming.
Eventually, Scotland’s exhausted defence could not hold on and Ford skipped over between the posts in the 83rd minute, converting to level an astonishing game.
The Leicester Tigers fly-half had come on for Owen Farrell in the 70th minute, a change that had surprised the captain who looked bemused as his number went up.
But it proved the right call by boss Eddie Jones in the end, as Ford came up trumps.
Farrell had endured a mixed night, given away and intercept try to Russell and also being charged down by Stuart McNally, the Scotland hooker who then beat him in a foot race from halfway to start the visitors’ comeback.
Farrell was also penalised for a shoulder charge on Darcy Graham as the winger kicked downfield.
With the game level, Laidlaw missed the difficult kick 68th minute kick but Farrell - fortunate not to be yellow carded - was replaced moments later.
Scotland retained the Calcutta Cap but have never come closer to ending their 36 year wait for a win here.
Around 20 minutes before kick-off, Wales had already secured the Six Nations title and Grand Slam with a ruthless 25-7 win over Ireland in Cardiff.
That ended England’s hopes of stealing the Championship but they still came out fired up.
They had already secured a bonus point with four tries - Jack Nowell after just 66 seconds, then Tom Curry, Joe Launchbury and Jonny May - before the half-hour mark.
Given the style with which they were playing, too, tormenting Scotland all over the field, Henry Slade particularly showing some fine handling, it looked like they would surge on to rack up a record victory.
However, their gutsy opponents suddenly silenced Twickenham by scoring FIVE tries in even less time.
The hosts’ collapse was spectacular although Scotland did create some wonderful tries.
Captain McNally started off the revival in the 35th minute.
Finn Russell converted and then initiated a lovely midfield move that resulted in winger Graham scrambling over for his first try in the 47th minute.
Just three minutes later, his side were in again as scrum-half Ali Price chipped over and spun out of Elliot Daly’s weak tackle attempt to send No8 Magnus Bradbury charging over.
Even at 31-19, no one truly expected England to collapse further. But they did.
Brilliant fly-half Finn Russell took control, his huge pass seeing Sean Maitland find acres of room to see Graham get his second as the hosts’ defence disappeared once more.
Fittingly, it was the maverick No10 who then saw Scotland move level, intercepting Farrell’s poor pass to scamper in from halfway, Laidlaw converting for 31-31 before even more drama at the death of a Six Nations game that will go down in folklore.
England: Daly; Nowell, Slade, Tuilagi (Te’o 77), May; Farrell, Youngs (Spencer 74); Moon (Genge 5), George (Cowan-Dickie 74), Sinckler (Cole 51), Launchbury (Hughes 74), Kruis, Wilson (Shields 62), Curry. Vunipola.
Scotland: Maitland (Hastings 68): Graham, Grigg (Harris 57), Johnson, McGuigan; Russell, Price (Laidlaw 57); Dell (Reid 45), McInally (Brown 57), Nel (Berghan 61), Toolis, Gilchrist (Gray 57), Skinner, Watson, Bradbury.
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)