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Borthwick acknowledges England's shortcomings in Scotland as a tough lesson.
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Borthwick acknowledges England’s shortcomings in Scotland as a tough lesson.

England’s coach, Steve Borthwick, has acknowledged that his team learned a difficult lesson after suffering their fourth consecutive loss in the Calcutta Cup. This is the longest winning streak for Scotland against England since 1972 and Borthwick admitted that his team’s errors ultimately led to their defeat.

“We acknowledge that our performance today was not up to par,” stated Borthwick. “At this level, having such a high number of handling errors greatly hinders our chances of winning. We made it too effortless for our opponents to score. They were extremely efficient, but the important lesson for us is that giving away that many turnovers makes it incredibly challenging.”

“At times, mistakes may go unnoticed. However, against a strong team like Scotland, they cannot be overlooked. Scotland’s players in the 10, 12, and 13 positions have started numerous times together. This was the first time our players in the same positions have started together and it showed. There was a lack of coordination in their actions, leading to multiple basic errors. Overall, I do not believe the team performed to its full potential today. While we would all prefer for progress to be a smooth and steady process, the reality is that it is not always the case.”

Borthwick’s squad must defeat either the top-ranked team, Ireland, at Twickenham, or France in Lyon to avoid ending a fourth consecutive Six Nations with just two victories out of five matches. Despite this challenge, England’s captain, Jamie George, is confident that his team can improve in their last two games. He hopes that the fans noticed their strong performance in the first 20 minutes and now it’s about maintaining that level of play.

In the first half, our performance was solid, but we became more careless as the game went on. When we passed the ball to Finn Russell and [Duhan] van der Merwe, they were able to make impressive plays. Our fundamentals are strong, but we must improve in following our game strategy. We were aware that this would be a challenging match, but unfortunately, we did not meet the standard. Test rugby can be unforgiving, as we witnessed today.

Scotland has emerged as the top contender to face undefeated Ireland. Despite still having matches against Italy and Ireland, their coach, Gregor Townsend, is confident in his team’s ability after their victory over England. Townsend admits that they had a rough 15 minutes, but is pleased with their overall performance, scoring 30 points. He acknowledges the pressure their outside players put on their opponents and is pleased to have prevented England from earning a bonus point.

According to Townsend, there are still areas for improvement in the new mouthguard technology that is used to track potential harmful impacts during a game. During the match, Scottish prop Zander Fagerson had to be substituted due to what Townsend believed was a routine tackle. This incident was similar to one involving hooker George Turner against France earlier this month.

“I think we need to be careful with our actions,” cautioned Townsend. “We don’t want to have our top players sidelined for 10 minutes. While it’s important to prioritize player safety, there are still improvements to be made before the technology is completely reliable. This is a new development in the Six Nations… I hope that today’s incident serves as a lesson and that efforts are made to ensure the readings are as precise as possible. We still have some work to do in this area.”

Source: theguardian.com