Six Nations
'England playing fantastic rugby would have been a miracle'
Mark Cueto
February 6, 2016
Highlights: Scotland 9-15 England (video available only in Australia)

It is difficult to read too much into England's Calcutta Cup victory and far too early to draw any conclusions about how the team will fare under Eddie Jones.

But the boys went to Scotland and got a result, which is never an easy thing to do at Murrayfield. They will take the win, move forward and I'm sure they will only get better from here.

In truth it was quite a scrappy game. However, they were never going to come out and be a totally different side from the one that played under Stuart Lancaster. In an ideal world they would have played fantastic rugby from the off, but that would have been a miracle.

Ultimately they have won their first game, and that is so important in the Six Nations. They will be pleased with that and it is a foundation to build on.

You only have to look at the France-Italy game earlier in the day to see how vital winning the opening game is. The Italians almost nicked it in Paris, but for Sergio Parisse's late missed drop goal, and if England had lost to Scotland then there would have been huge pressure on them going to Rome next week.

Instead that has been released. There will be a shift in attitude now and the team will make that journey full of confidence.

Victory has also come at the end of a big week for Dylan Hartley, who will be pleased to have kicked off the championship and his reign as captain with a win.

He has been under a lot of pressure personally but he led the team and had a solid game. He got through a lot of work to lay foundations for the victory.

© David Rogers/Getty Images

Overall, England's performance was pretty rusty. The scrum and lineout were alright, and Jack Nowell produced a nice finish at the end of a good team move to score the second try.

But there has been huge change off the field with a completely new coaching team coming in, who only had about 10 days to prepare for the Scotland game.

The squad will only get better the longer they stay together and once Jones and his staff have time to implement what they want to do.

Scoring a try will give Nowell a confidence boost, too. He was in the World Cup squad but didn't get a lot of playing time so it will be nice for him to get a start under his belt.

I have been watching him for a year or two with Exeter, since playing against him a few times at the back end of my career, and I like what I see.

He's a bit of a terrier, he's a bit of a power ball, and with his energy you just have to chuck him out there as he gets stuck in defensively and is a handful with ball in hand.

Like Anthony Watson on the opposite wing, he floats around and offers an option both inside and outside the fly-half. In the modern game wingers have to go looking for the ball and both of them do that.

When you look at it, it was not only Dylan who was under pressure following the World Cup. Everyone had a point to prove, a win's a win, now onwards to Rome.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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