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Six Nations 2024: Steve Borthwick says England's defeat to Scotland was a 'painful experience'

Six Nations 2024: Steve Borthwick says England's defeat to Scotland was a 'painful experience'

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Six Nations highlights: Scotland beat England as Van der Merwe scores a hat-trick

England coach Steve Borthwick said a fourth successive defeat to Scotland was a “painful experience”.

England led 10-0 early but lost their way as Scotland took control.

Borthwick said: “It is a painful experience for the team and England fans, and we will make sure we learn from it to be better in the future.”

England committed 24 handling errors and conceded 22 turnovers in a ripping display.

“When you make that many mistakes at this level, it's very difficult to win, especially against a team of Scotland's quality.

“In the end, we made it easier for Scotland to score, but they were very decisive.

“It's a big lesson for our team as we grow. The number of turnovers made it very difficult to win.”

Borthwick, who has won eight of his previous nine matches, is working to rebuild his team after leading England to third place in the World Cup.

England started well and scored a good try through full-back George Furbank, but a late score from substitute winger Emmanuel Faye Waboso prevented a deeper defeat.

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'Too many mistakes' – England's Borthwick reacts to loss to Scotland

Borthwick pointed out that his team's lineups lacked experience compared to the stable lineup drawn up by Scottish player Gregor Townsend.

“We would all like progress to be a nice linear path, but in the end it's not, especially when you're trying to do it at this level,” Borthwick said.

“What I saw was a team trying to improve, a team trying to add layers to their game.

“We made mistakes and got punished. Sometimes you get away with it, sometimes you don't. Against a team like Scotland, you don't do that.”

“It's a big learning experience, it's a really painful lesson against a Scotland team that has been together for a long time.”

This was England's first match to use a combination of fly-half George Ford and centers Olly Lawrence and Henry Slade.

For Scotland, Finn Russell has played alongside Sione Tuipolo and Huw Jones since the 2023 Six Nations.

“There was a lack of cohesion and a lot of basic mistakes,” Borthwick added.

“We know today wasn't good enough. It's going to take some work and we know that.”

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Mooney is “confused” by mistakes in dealing with England

England's Six Nations should not break up – Mooney

England's next match is at Twickenham against Ireland, leaders of the impressive Six Nations before they finish their campaign away to France.

Borthwick's side will have to win one of those games to avoid ending a fourth successive Six Nations Championship with just two wins from their five matches.

“Given this, what is really important is that these Six Nations do not disintegrate,” former England winger Ugo Moni said on BBC One.

“England cannot end the Six Nations by losing three games in a row.”

'Loose' England punished after impressive start

Borthwick's side fell behind to both Italy and Wales in the opening rounds of the first half but came back to win.

Captain Jimmy George said the opening period at Murrayfield was the “best” he had seen his side play “for a while”.

“We felt really good about it,” George said.

“In the matches, we lacked the foundation and made life difficult for ourselves, but the first 20 minutes of the game were probably the best I have seen in a while.

“I had no problem with the way we played in the first half but after that we were a bit loose with the ball. We gave the ball to Finn Russell and Van der Merwe and they can create magic, and they did.” “Which.”

Former England half-half Matt Dawson was concerned about the way England “went into free fall” after Scotland's first try.

“England were dominating and controlling the game in the beginning, but as the minutes passed they lost confidence, kept attacking and kept giving the ball away.

“Scotland did the opposite and gained momentum. They weathered the storm of England's brilliant opening and then England had nothing else to do.”

The turning point

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'World class' – BBC pundits praise Van der Merwe after brilliant attempt

Selecting the results was van der Merwe's second attempt.

England were leading 10-7 when the winger collected the ball on the halfway line and raced around England's Ben Earl before accelerating clear to finish stunningly in the corner.

“To dance around Ben Earl and sprint down the touchline in what you know is going to be a tough game – you need moments of magic and players to stand up, and he did that,” Mooney said.

“Not only was it a fantastic end, I don't think England have ever recovered emotionally from that.”

In three matches, England scored just six tries but conceded eight as they got used to a new defensive system.

“We're seeing really good players making bad decisions,” Mooney added.

He added: “I'm a little confused because when I watch these players in the English Premier League and in Europe, I think they don't make these mistakes or bad mistakes.”

Scotland's dominance in the Calcutta Cup

Scotland won five of their last seven matches and won four in a row for the first time since 1893-96.

Latest seven Calcutta Cup results

Murrayfield 2018 – Scotland 25-13 England

Twickenham 2019 – England 38-38 Scotland

Murrayfield 2020 – Scotland 6-13 England

Twickenham 2021 – England 6-11 Scotland

Murrayfield 2022 – Scotland 20-17 England

Twickenham 2023 – England 23-29 Scotland

Murrayfield 2024 – Scotland 30-21 England

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'There is improvement to be made' – Townsend's reaction to Scotland's win

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