Townsend admits beating England at packed Twickenham was 'emotional'

Townsend steered Scotland to a second win in a row at the home of English rugby.

Gregor Townsend admitted beating England at a packed Twickenham was an emotional moment for him.

Townsend steered Scotland to victory at the home of English rugby two years ago but the match was played without a crowd due to the pandemic.

Two tries from Duhan van der Merwe, scores from Huw Jones and Ben White plus points from the boot of Finn Russell were enough to keep the Calcutta Cup.

It is the fifth time in six years the silverware will reside at Murrayfield.

Townsend said: “I felt a lot of emotion at the final whistle. I don’t know if it was because of the noise or the occasion.

“I never came close to winning here as a player – to come down here was always the same result as a player or supporter.

“So to do it now and be part of a team that does get a win – and two years ago there was no crowd – it was emotional.”

Van der Merwe scored an instant contender for the try of the championship as he gathered the ball inside his own half and slalomed past the English defence to score.

Townsend said it reminded him of a cult 1990s computer game.

He said: “It was incredible wasn’t it? It reminded me, for those of us of a certain age, of playing ‘Jonah Lomu Rugby’.

“Duhan hasn’t had much rugby over the past few weeks, he has trained really well with us but to play like he did today is a real testament to how he has got himself in this position mentally and physically.

“That first try was amazing. It is one that gets the Scotland supporters going crazy and silences everyone else.

“You do not see tries like that very often.”

Van der Merwe has not played for his club Edinburgh for more than a month as he battled injury and returned to South Africa, the land of his birth, to get married.

The 27-year-old winger said: “It is probably the best try of my career.

“When I got up [after scoring] I was quite surprised and thinking ‘what have I just done?’

“I am obviously buzzing about the tries but more importantly I am buzzing about the win.

“We said we wanted to start the campaign off right, we will enjoy this one but we have to shift our focus to next week.”

Captain Jamie Ritchie was determined to stick to the theme of immediately turning all thoughts to the match against Wales, at Murrayfield next Saturday.

Scotland have won their match against England on the opening weekend of the Six Nations in 2021 and 2022, only to then fall to defeat against the Welsh both times.

Ritchie insisted: “It is just the start.

“We will enjoy each other’s company and enjoy this victory but come Monday we are starting again.

“The first thing we said in the huddle after full time was ‘we have been in this position before and not backed it up’ and that for us is the most important thing.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code