A hat-trick from Duhan van der Merwe, the first by a Scot in the fixture, helped Scotland recover from 10-0 down to retain the Calcutta Cup for the fourth year in a row and keep their championship dream alive. 

The visitors raced in front through a try from recalled George Furbank, who was on the end of a first-phase move to open the scoring.

But from there it was all Scotland, and largely all their left wing, who closed in on Stuart Hogg’s try-scoring record to take the game away from Steve Borthwick’s side despite a try from Exeter wing Immanuel Feye-Waboso late on.  

Here are five things we learned from Scotland's 30-21 Calcutta Cup win at Scottish Gas Murrayfield. 

1. Scotland reign supreme over England  

Scotland’s fourth win in a row over England equalled their best-ever record in the fixture, which had stood since 1973. One of those wins in 1971 was in a match to mark the centenary of the first-ever rugby international, played between the two sides at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh.  

Scotland’s best results against England in the Home Nations/Five Nations/Six Nations were a run of four wins between 1893 and 1896, and they can now add triumphs of 2021 to 2024 to that esteemed list.  

Scotland had attempted to talk down the fact they were rightly considered favourites going into this match, but they must now accept they have a hold over England like we’ve rarely seen. This was an England side that had finished third at the World Cup and had a year to work with Steve Borthwick, but they rarely threatened after the break, Feye-Waboso's opportunist maiden international score apart.  

2. Duhan van der Merwe a superb finisher 

His try double moved the big winger clear into second place in Scotland’s all-time try-scoring charts with 25 from his 37 caps. He’s now breathing down Stuart Hogg’s record of 27 from his 100 caps, and it feels only a matter of time before the Lions winger breaks that He’s now scored in three of the last four meetings against England. In terms of importance, with his side 10-0 down, his first today will rank highly among his Test scores.  

Scotland Rugby News: Scotland celebrate one of Duhan van der Merwe's three triesScotland celebrate one of Duhan van der Merwe's three tries (Image: PA)

You’d get short odds on the Edinburgh man breaking Hogg’s record before the end of the championship, particularly with Italy still to play in Rome in two weeks’ time.  

3. A more pragmatic approach prevails

Scotland had backed themselves to score tries against France, repeatedly turning down opportunities at three points in favour of putting the ball into touch or opting to scrum. It proved costly and they were not about to repeat the feat this time round. Each time the home side won a penalty within Finn Russell’s range, onto the field crept assistant coach Pete Horne with the kicking tee, and Russell duly slotted the ball between the posts to keep the scoreboard ticking over. It meant Scotland were always well ahead and forced England to chase the game.  

When Immanuel Feyi-Waboso's try dragged the visitors back into the game with just under quarter of an hour to go, the importance of those penalties was brought clear into view.  

There’s nothing wrong with showing ambition but in Test rugby there’s always a place for the pragmatic approach and Scotland got the balance just right today. They might be kicking themselves at not securing a bonus point, but the win keeps their championship dream alive heading into the final two rounds.  

4. Scotland showed signs of panic in the face of the blitz but recovered well  

Finn Russell spoke during the week about Scotland not dealing with the South Africa blitz defence when they met at the World Cup, but his side showed signs early on of the same panic they’d exhibited in Marseille. Within the first five minutes, Pierre Schoeman had dropped a ball under pressure from Maro Itoje, while Blair Kinghorn and Ben White found only the touchline with their passes under huge pressure from England’s blitz.  

Finn Russell then threw a wild pass to Scott Cummings who wasn’t expecting the ball and then dropped possession as he attempted to offload.  

However, as the home side grew into the game there were opportunities to exploit. England flew out of the line in the run-up to van der Merwe’s first try and were caught out by Sione Tuipulotu’s short ball to Huw Jones. Cam Redpath also delivered some nice touches in the face of stern English pressure, some of which relieved the pressure on Russell and put doubt in the minds of the visiting defenders.  

5. Zander Fagerson is so important for Scotland  

For all the talk during the week by the visitors about nulifying Finn Russell, the Bath fly-half arguably comes second in Scotland’s most important players to Zander Fagerson, whose departure within the opening exchanges was a hugely costly one. His replacement, 31-year-old Northampton prop Elliot Millar-Mills, was winning just his second cap.

Scotland Rugby News: Zander Fagerson was forced off for an HIA early onZander Fagerson was forced off for an HIA early on (Image: SNS)

He immediately shipped a penalty under pressure from Ellis Genge, then gave away another three points from which George Ford gave the visitors a 10-point lead. Gregor Townsend will have been breathing a sigh of relief when he returned in the 16th minute.  

By the time Millar-Mills reappeared, replacing Fagerson permanently on the hour, Scotland had wrestled back control. The Glasgow tighthead had been a big part of that, both with ball in hand and by sorting out the set-piece.