England win has happy Lancaster in stitches

Stuart Lancaster confirmed he has applied for the full-time England coach’s job after joining his players in shedding blood in a physical Calcutta Cup win over Scotland on Saturday.

England’s interim coach required two stitches after accidentally punching a light fitting in the coaches’ box as he celebrated Charlie Hodgson’s try early in the second half.

Hodgson’s converted try, following a charged-down Dan Parks kick, proved the difference on the scoreboard. That and Scotland’s now habitual inability to score tries.

Lancaster’s application to be Martin Johnson’s permanent successor may have been lodged but his CV already needs updating after a successful start to England’s new era.

“My application has gone in,” said Lancaster. “To take the head coaching job of England and to get the first win was the greatest feeling I have had in rugby.

“I punched the ceiling light and split my finger when Charlie scored. I asked the doc after the game whether it needed to be looked at and he put in two stitches!

“We have not won here since 2004 and to have come away with a win has hopefully given people at home something to smile about.”

Lancaster wants his side to play high-tempo attacking rugby but knows nothing can be achieved if the culture is wrong, as it so clearly had been. He invited England footballer Gary Neville, England rugby league captain Jamie Peacock and Corporal Simon Brown, an Afghanistan veteran, to deliver inspirational speeches which drummed that message home.

“We have been delighted with the attitude we showed, particularly in defence. Our discipline was very good and so was our desire to work hard, play for each other, play for the shirt,” Lancaster said.

England started with three debutants in Owen Farrell, who kicked two penalties and a conversion, Brad Barritt and Phil Dowson. Lee Dickson, Jordan Turner-Hall, Ben Morgan and Geoff Parking came off the bench near the end.

Losing to such an inexperienced side is a huge blow to Scotland but wing Max Evans believes they will find their way to the try line, if their attacking instincts are reined in slightly.

Robinson has seen his side score 20 tries in his 25 Test matches in charge, but none in the last four games, despite a free-flowing style which has seen Scotland run at defences and create opportunities yet repeatedly fall short.

“There’s by no means any need to panic,” Evans said. “We broke England down and just weren’t able to finish.

“If you look at Ross Rennie’s pass to Mike [Blair], an inch earlier and Mike’s got it and probably going under the posts. It’s the very small inches.”

Scorers for Scotland: Pens: D Parks (two).

Scorers for England: Try: Hodgson. Con: Farrell. Pen: Farrell.

SCOTLAND: R Lamont; L Jones, N De Luca, S Lamont, M Evans; D Parks, C Cusiter; A Jacobsen, R Ford (capt), E Murray, R Gray, J Hamilton, A Strokosch, R Rennie, D Denton.

Replacements: S Lawson, G Cross, A Kellock, J Barclay, M Blair, G Laidlaw, G Morrison.

ENGLAND: B Foden; C Ashton, B Barritt, O Farrell, D Strettle; C Hodgson, B Youngs; A Corbisiero, D Hartley, D Cole, M Botha, T Palmer, T Croft, C Robshaw (capt), P Dowson.

Replacements: R Webber, M Stevens, G Parling, B Morgan, L Dickson, J Turner-Hall, M Brown.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland).

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