Scotland's Stuart McInally celebrates with the Calcutta Cup trophy after their Six Nations Championship match against England at Twickenham Stadium, London, the UK, March 16 2019. Picture: REUTERS/HANNAH MCKAY
Scotland's Stuart McInally celebrates with the Calcutta Cup trophy after their Six Nations Championship match against England at Twickenham Stadium, London, the UK, March 16 2019. Picture: REUTERS/HANNAH MCKAY

Twickenham — Scotland captain Stuart McInally was proud if somewhat bewildered by his side’s remarkable Calcutta Cup draw with England.

The Scots were on the verge of their first win at Twickenham since 1983 after an astounding rally caused them to come from 31-0 down to lead 38-31 with just three minutes remaining.

But England replacement flyhalf George Ford then scored a try that he converted with the last kick of the game as the match finished all square at 38-38.

McInally had started the Scotland revival when the hooker charged down England captain Owen Farrell’s kick to score the visitors’ first try shortly before half-time.

Scotland retained the Calcutta Cup by virtue of their 25-13 win over England at Murrayfield in 2018 and McInally admitted to mixed emotions after one of the great Twickenham thrillers.

“It’s a weird one,” said McInally, on the bench for the closing stages after a colossal effort. “With a minute to go, you’re thinking ‘we’ve done this’. I don’t know if regret is the right word. It’s disappointing to concede, right under the sticks as well. That was the game gone to the draw. It’s a strange one.”

He added: “There’s so many positives to take forward, putting one of the best teams in the world under heaps of pressure in their own backyard. Credit to them in the first half, they played some great rugby, but we dictated the game in the second half which was really pleasing. We’ve done something we’ve not done in a long time, which is retain the Calcutta Cup, which means a lot to us.”

Scotland were without several injured players in the likes of Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Huw Jones, John Barclay and Ryan Wilson and Saturday’s result meant they finished fifth in the championship, with their solitary victory coming in the first round against Italy.

McInally said: “We need to be pretty honest about the whole Six Nations. We’ve showed up in parts, played well [in the] second half last week against Wales, [and the] second half this week. We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves. That was a really good second 40 [minutes].”

Edinburgh wing Darcy Graham made the most of his Twickenham chance to play himself into World Cup contention with two tries.

“That second half is how we want to play for the full 80 minutes,” said Graham. That’s what we’ve not done over the championship. We’ll take a huge crate of confidence from that.”

AFP