Scotland put in as “comprehensive a performance as New Zealand could produce” in their shock away victory against England, according to Matt Dawson.
Despite winning by just five points in the end, Scotland controlled almost every facet of the game against their old rivals to win at Twickenham for the first time in 38 years.
England looked bereft of ideas against the Scots, as they continuously kicked the ball away to little avail.
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Dawson, writing for the BBC, believes England’s poor display was a result of Scotland’s all-round performance.
“Scotland’s first win at Twickenham since 1983 was the most complete and authoritative Scottish performance I have seen in my life.
“It was as comprehensive a performance as New Zealand could produce. England were not at the races in their Six Nations opener because Scotland did not let them get to the races.
“It was not because England were dropping the ball or kicking poorly. England just could not get in the game because of what the opposition were doing.
“Scotland were physical, their set-piece was great in attack and defence. The error count was low. The discipline was good. They made England stutter and lose their shape. The best teams in the world do that consistently,” Dawson commented.
England’s issues at 10.
The former England scrum-half believes many of England’s problems stemmed from the decision to start Owen Farrell at 10, and suggested the captain should move back to inside centre.
“I think there was a selection query over not having George Ford at 10 and instead of bringing Owen Farrell in from 12 because there was not enough creativity there for England.
“Every other team in the Six Nations has a 10 that can run the game at pace and really attack it.
“Scotland have Finn Russell, France have got Matthieu Jalibert, Wales have Dan Biggar, Ireland have Johnny Sexton and Italy have Paolo Garbisi. If they get front-foot ball, they make things happen.
“The way that England play, most of the time you can get away with the pragmatic way Farrell plays at 10, but the game seems to be shifting more towards that ‘anything is on at any time’ type of play,” Dawson wrote.
The result has seen the Six Nations been blown wide open, with Scotland arguably in their best position to win the championship since Italy joined the tournament in 2000.