Rory Darge delighted with Calcutta Cup triumph but eyes improvement

The co-captain hailed Duhan van der Merwe's starring turn in the win over England.

Scotland co-captain Rory Darge shared his joy at defeating England to lift the Calcutta Cup but said the performance wasn’t without mistakes and the team will work to improve.

Duhan van der Merwe scored a hat-trick of tries in the 30-21 win at Murrayfield that saw Scotland record a fourth consecutive win over their arch-rivals, and take a much-needed Six Nations victory.

Darge said there was a lot to like in his team’s performance but didn’t let his excitement about the result overshadow the fact that the side had made some errors.

“Obviously we’re delighted to get the win,” he said.

“There were bits that we didn’t do well in that game but we got the opportunities in the first half that we took really well. We spoke a bit about momentum this week and when it was with it I think we really leaned into it and used that momentum well.

“It was scrappy to start with, for sure, and we sort of weathered that.

“We made a few mistakes, partly from the sort of pressure England put us under, but part of it was that we just made a few mistakes out there.

“That’s something we will look to get better at but I think Finn and Benny controlled the game really well and put us in the right places while the forwards went to work off the back of that.”

After the heartbreak of losing to France in their previous match at Murrayfield when a last-gasp TMO decision went against them, Darge reflected on the changed emotions.

“Happy to get the win, for sure,” he said. “There’s a very different feeling in the changing room with what the boys feel now compared to two weeks ago.

“Even with the bits we didn’t do well, to still get a win with a nine-point margin, I’m delighted with that.

Darge hailed Van der Merwe’s contribution as being vital to the victory.

“It’s obviously game-changing when we have a half-opportunity and he just takes it and scores,” he said. “That’s a massive momentum-swinger and it’s really nice to see for forwards when you’re working hard in the rucks and you see Duhan on the line like that.

“It’s a good feeling.”

Though the importance of the rivalry and the Calcutta Cup wasn’t to be played down, Darge was keen to stress that the match was part of the team’s bigger ambitions for the Triple Crown and the Six Nations and that focus would soon turn to the next challenge.

“It’s still the middle of the championship and we’re delighted to get that win,” he said. “And it’s the Calcutta Cup so I’m definitely delighted after that personally.

“You have to enjoy it and then put it to bed and when we come back we’ll really get after the Italy game.”

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