London - Jonathan
Joseph scored a hat-trick of tries as England retained their Six
Nations title with a 61-21 rout of Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday
which also equalled New Zealand's record of 18 successive wins by a
'tier one' nation.
England ran in seven tries in total against a Scotland side who had
arrived in London bidding for the Triple Crown and with hopes of a first
Twickenham victory since 1983.
England's points tally was also the most either side had managed in
the 135-match history of rugby union's oldest fixture and saw them equal
their record 40-point margin of victory against the Scots set in a 43-3
success in 2001.
England had not led at half-time in any of their previous matches
this Six Nations but were all but out of sight at 30-7 ahead at the
Owen Farrell, passed fit shortly before kick-off following a leg
injury, converted all seven tries and kicked four penalties for a match
haul of 26 points.
Scotland did manage three converted tries, prop Gordon Reid going
over in the first half before centre Huw Jones crossed twice after the
But Joseph completed his treble early in the second half before the strength of England's bench came to the fore.
Powerhouse No 8 Billy Vunipola needed just five minutes of his Test
comeback following a knee injury to score a try before replacement
scrumhalf Danny Care crossed twice late on to seal an emphatic win.
England will surpass the world champion All Blacks' record if they
beat Ireland in Dublin in the final match of the Six Nations next
weekend - a match where a victory will also see Eddie Jones's men
complete back-to-back Grand Slams.
England kicked off this Calcutta Cup clash knowing any kind of win
would see them crowned Six Nations champions after Wales beat Ireland
22-9 in Cardiff on Friday.
Scotland were fortunate that hooker Fraser Brown was not sent off as
early as the second minute for a dangerous, late tackle on Elliot Daly
that saw the England wing appear to land on his neck.
French referee Mathieu Raynal decided a yellow card was sufficient punishment when many officials might have reached for a red.
But no sooner had Scotland been
reduced to 14 men, than Joseph, recalled in place of Ben Te'o following
the 36-15 win over Italy, scored a third-minute try.
The ball was spun wide and Joseph's run saw him beat opposing centre Alex Dunbar.
England, with flanker Maro Itoje making ground and Joseph continuing
to cause problems, then won two close-range penalties which Farrell
kicked to extend their lead to 13-0 as early as the 15th minute.
Scotland then saw star fullback Stuart Hogg leave the field for a
head injury assessment, with his replacement Mark Bennett soon forced
off with a leg injury.
Scotland scrum-half Ali Price moved out onto the wing and, in the
midst of the disruption, Joseph scored his second try when another
well-timed run saw him slice through the visitors' defence.
The Scots got on the scoreboard just before the half hour when Reid
burrowed over after his side had declined a kickable penalty.
But Farrell added another penalty and England had a third try in the 35th minute.
Farrell released Joseph with a well-timed pass and he in turn found
Anthony Watson, on for the injured Daly, who sped over against an
overwhelmed Scotland defence.
Joseph completed his hat-trick early in the second half when another
well-judged run saw him go over off the back of a close-range ruck
following a pass by Ben Youngs.
Farrell converted and added another penalty to leave England out of sight at 40-7.
Jones did reduce England's lead when the centre crossed for a
50th-minute try, flyhalf Finn Russell again converting, but Scotland
were now in damage-limitation mode.
Billy Vunipola charged over from a line-out drive in the 58th minute before Jones grabbed his second score.
But Care's two late tries, a dart followed by the scrum-half crowning
a prolonged period of possession, emphasised England's dominance.
Tries: Jonathan Joseph (3), Anthony Watson, Billy Vunipola, Danny Care (2)
Conversions: Owen Farrell 7
Penalties: Farrell (4)
Tries: Gordon Reid, Huw Jones (2)
Conversions: Finn Russell
15 Mike Brown, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 James Haskell, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Joe Marler
Substitutes: 16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Tom Wood, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ben Te’o, 23 Anthony Watson
15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 John Barclay (captain), 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid
Substitutes: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Cornell du Preez, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Mark Bennett