But England, off shade up to now on this event, dazzled at Twickenham to not solely retain their Six Nations title however equal the world report of 18 consecutive Test victories for a Tier One aspect, set by New Zealand final yr.
Their sixty one-21 thumping of a disappointing Scotland additionally prolonged their very own report of consecutive Six Nations victories to eleven.
There have been extra data of notice, too. A hat-trick from Jonathan Joseph and 26 factors from the boot of Owen Farrell helped the hosts to their highest rating, and equaled their largest profitable margin, towards Scotland as they retained the Calcutta Cup, a trophy awarded to the winner of the annual Six Nations tussle between these two nations.
England coach Eddie Jones stated his workforce have been “ruthless” and carried out “just like the primary aspect on the planet.”
This was a sensational efficiency from a aspect whose declare to greatness has been questioned after unconvincing wins of their opening three matches of this event.
Whether or not England are but the equal of New Zealand — double World Champions and the world’s prime-ranked workforce — on the pitch continues to be open to query. Many would reply a agency no.
Jones himself admitted there was nonetheless a niche between the All Blacks and his second-ranked England.
“We’re not beating our chest saying we are the No.1 staff on the planet, however we aspire to be the No.1 staff on the earth,” stated the Australian, who has but to expertise defeat since taking cost in November 2015 following England’s humiliating early World Cup exit.
This outcome, nevertheless, would have made the All Blacks take notice.
One other equally resounding victory towards Eire, on March 18, within the concluding match of the event and England will stand alone within the historical past books with 19 consecutive wins.
A win in Dublin towards an Eire group which ended New Zealand’s document run of invincibility final October and Jones’ males would additionally safe their first again-to-again Grand Slam since 1992.
In shortly turning the main target to the ultimate weekend, Jones stated his gamers would obtain greatness have been they to safe one other win.
The Dublin conflict was alleged to be a title-deciding contest, however Eire’s defeat by Wales on Friday ensured England merely needed to beat Scotland to efficiently defend their title.
“What number of occasions in your life do you get to be nice?” requested the previous Japan and Australia head coach.
“That is the chance they have and it is thrilling. They’re within the dressing room now speaking about it.
“Eire, psychologically, are in a robust place. They’re crushed, they’re out of the event they usually love spoiling events and the get together they most wish to spoil is the England social gathering. That is an unlimited quantity of psychological benefit.”
This can be a excellent England aspect. Their quest for greatness ongoing.
Earlier than a capability crowd on house turf, Jones’ males attacked with verve and overpowered an up-and-coming Scotland aspect, securing their place in historical past, alongside the All Blacks, with a swaggering seven-attempt show.
Facilities Joseph, not within the workforce for the win over Italy, and Farrell have been the standout performers.
Farrell, an damage doubt till match day after injuring his leg in coaching, pulled the strings in midfield, whereas Joseph was the poacher supreme — securing his hat-trick earlier than he was substituted on the hour.
“We executed some pretty performs,” admitted Jones.
“A number of the area created by Jonathan Joseph was completely excellent and it was the work of George Ford and Owen Farrell on the within. This can be a nice message from us.”
Replacements Anthony Watson, Billy Vunipola and Danny Care (2) additionally crossed the whitewash as England minimize unfastened with ease towards a timid protection.
A lot was made earlier than the match of the facility at Jones’ disposal on the bench — the mixed weight of his replacements was almost a ton — however with England main 30-7 at halftime the match was over earlier than behemoths similar to Mako and Billy Vunipola inflicted additional injury.
However they have been a shadow of the aspect which had lit up this event.
Their hooker Fraser Brown was sin binned within the second minute, whereas star participant Stuart Hogg suffered a head damage early on. His alternative Mark Bennett lasted simply 4 minutes after struggling an damage.
The guests did handle three tries – a Huw Jones brace and a Gordon Reid landing — however the injury was finished inside the opening 20 minutes, when England have been already 20-zero forward.
It was maybe all the time an excessive amount of to anticipate Scotland to burst England’s balloon.
Not one of the gamers on the pitch have been born when the Scots final gained at Twickenham in 1983. Certainly, they’ve solely gained on this floor 4 occasions in 108 years and haven’t gained the Calcutta Cup since 2008.
“We’ll take this one on the chin,” stated Vern Cotter, who will stand down as head coach after Scotland’s match with Italy on the ultimate weekend.
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