Maitland scores on debut but England win

01:56, Feb 03 2013
Six Nations
Sean Maitland collects a high ball in his debut for Scotland.
Six Nations
Billy Twelvetrees of England is hauled down by the Scotland defence.
Six Nations
Halfback Danny Care breaks through the Scottish defence.
Six Nations
Geoff Parling of England goes over to score.
Six Nations
Kiwi Sean Maitland scores the first try of the match as Scotland went down 38-18 to England in their Six Nations opener.
Six Nations
Jonny Sexton tries to break through the Welsh defence.
Six Nations
Sam Warburton prepares for a scrum during Wales and Ireland's Six Nations opener.
Six Nations
Rob Kearney of Ireland slips through the tackle of George North.
Six Nations
Toby Faletau is stopped by Jonny Sexton just short of the try line .
Six Nations
A dejected Wales side reacts after losing their opening Six Nations match to Ireland 30-22.
Six Nations
Benjamin Fall of France is held by Alberto Sgarbi during the Six Nations match between Italy and France.
Six Nations
Luciano Orquera of Italy moves away from Dimitri Szarzewski during the Six Nations match between Italy and France.
Six Nations
Italy celebrate their victory over France in their first game of the Six Nations.
Six Nations
Rob Kearney of Ireland throws himself on the loose ball metres from his tryline as Mike Brown of England closes in.
Six Nations
James Haskell of England and Jamie Heaslip of Ireland grapple during England's 12-6 win over Ireland.
Six Nations
Sean O'Brien of Ireland is tackled by Tom Youngs and Chris Robshaw of England.
Six Nations
Owen Farrell kicks a penalty for England during their win over Ireland.
Six Nations
George North of Wales scores the opening try during the Six Nations match between France and Wales.
Six Nations
Yoann Huget of France looks at the cut up pitch during his side's loss to Wales.
Six Nations
Ryan Jones of Wales claims a high ball from Damien Chouly of France.
Six Nations
Stuart Hogg of Scotland breaks away to score a try for Scotland during their win over Italy.
Six Nations
Sergio Parisse of Italy wins the line-out during their Six Nations game against Scotland.
Six Nations
Tim Visser of Scotland breaks through the tackle of Sergio Parisse.
Wales v Italy
Edoardo Gori of Italy puts the ball into a scrum during his side's loss to Wales.
Wales v Italy
Alex Cuthbert of Wales breaks away during his side's Six Nations win over Italy.
Wales v Italy
Kristopher Burton of Italy kicks over two Welsh players.
Wales v Italy
Simone Favaro of Italy is tackled by Leigh Halfpenny of Wales.
England v France
Morgan Parra of France attempts a tackle on Manu Tuilagi of England.
England v France
Yoann Maestri of France wins the line out ball ahead of Tom Wood of England.
England v France
Yoann Huget of France and Alex Goode of England go up for a high ball.
England v France
Teammates congratulate Manu Tuilagi on his try in England's win over France.
Scotland v Ireland
A scuffle breaks out between Jim Hamilton of Scotland and Donnache Ryan of Ireland.
Scotland v Ireland
Sean Lamont of Scotland and Luke Fitzgerald of Ireland collide in mid air trying to claim a high ball.
Scotland v Ireland
Sean O'Brien of Ireland is challenged by Stuart Hogg of Scotland.
Scotland v Ireland
Sean Maitland runs out for Scotland ahead of their clash with Ireland, which they won 12-8.

Former Crusader Sean Maitland scored a try on debut but it wasn't enough to carry Scotland to victory as they succumbed 38-18 to England at Twickenham in their Six Nations opener.

The victory was never in doubt once winger Chris Ashton went over for England's opening score on the half-hour mark, helping them to a 19-11 halftime lead. Debutant Billy Twelvetrees, Geoff Parling and Danny Care grabbed further tries after the break, with Owen Farrell excelling and kicking 16 points.

"I'm really pleased with the scoreline - we definitely would have taken that at the start of the day," England coach Stuart Lancaster said. "We've been building steadily, getting more consistent."

Scotland was second best in most departments and tries on the counterattack by Maitland and Stuart Hogg book-ended the match, giving the scoreline some respectability for them.

Sean Maitland
TRY TIME: Sean Maitland dives over for his first try in Scottish colours against England in the Six Nations.

This assured, disciplined effort in the oldest fixture in international rugby was another demonstration of the strides England has made under Stuart Lancaster since its sorry 2011 World Cup campaign, which was an embarrassment on and off the pitch.

A memorable and historic win over New Zealand in its final autumn test had raised the expectations levels on the English, with many considering them the best bets with France for the title. Upcoming matches in Ireland next Sunday and at home to France on matchday three will be a truer test of their credentials but they will certainly be challenging on this evidence.

"Ireland are an outstanding side," Lancaster said of Declan Kidney's team, which beat Wales 30-22 earlier Saturday. "It'll be a big step up."

Scotland's last win at Twickenham was 30 years ago and its best hope of ending that sorry run would have been if the heavens opened and the match turned into an all-out forwards battle.

No such luck.

England controlled possession and largely did the basics well, going through the phases and punishing any Scottish indiscipline through Farrell's unforgiving kicking that is already being compared to that of Jonny Wilkinson's. He missed just one of his seven kicks at goal.

"The mental toughness he possesses was in evidence," England attack coach Mike Catt said. "Cool and calm under pressure."

The home side did have to come from behind, though, after Maitland - playing by virtue of his Scottish grandparents - dived over in the corner in the ninth minute after Hogg's piercing break from inside his own half.

That put the Scots 5-3 up - it was the only time they were ahead.

"We gave them too many easy yards and we're really disappointed," interim Scotland coach Scott Johnson said. "We let ourselves down."

Farrell booted two penalties before Ashton buried himself between Greig Laidlaw and Hogg to ground one-handed, moments after Joe Launchbury had been held up on the line. That helped England to a 19-11 halftime lead and the signs were already apparent that Scotland would be in for a long second half.

Just three minutes after the break, Twelvetrees ran onto a crash-ball from halfback Ben Youngs to mark an impressive debut with a try.

With the English pressure relentless, Launchbury had a try disallowed for an infringement in the build-up by hooker Tom Youngs but his second-row partner, Parling, followed up with a legitimate score of his own.

Farrell showed he has a devastating pass to go with his clinical kicking, sending over a long miss-pass that Parling ran onto and dived over in the left corner.

Hogg broke clear on turnover ball and hacked ahead to ground ahead of replacement Toby Flood to give Scotland some respite as much as anything else, but England deservedly had the final say when Care plundered through a morass of bodies under the posts.

"We are moving forward," England captain Chris Robshaw said. "Everyone is starting to understand each other a bit better."

England 38 (Chris Ashton, Billy Twelvetrees, Geoff Parling, Danny Care tries;Owen Farrell 4 pen, 3 con) Scotland 18 (Sean Maitland, Stuart Hogg tries;Greig Laidlaw 2 pen, con)

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