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England start Six Nations with win over Scotland

England made an impressive start to the Six Nations with a comprehensive 38-18 defeat of Scotland at Twickenham. Although a few mistakes allowed the Scots to keep the score respectable, England, still on a high after last year’s defeat of the All Blacks, were too powerful for the opposition and scored four tries.

The Scots had suggested that England were arrogant and over-confident before the match. That seems unlikely considering coach Stuart Lancaster’s sensible approach, but a degree of confidence proved justified given England’s mastery, even with a team that lacked some key players.

The inexperienced Joe Launchbury was key to many of England’s best moves, while the debutant Billy Twelvetrees got on the score-sheet with a second-half try. Twelvetrees impressed, but is unlikely to keep his place once Manu Tuilagi is fit again.

"I am delighted with the way Billy played on his debut," Lancaster said. "He was confident and composed and if Manu is available, we will have some interesting selection decisions to make."

Lancaster was impressed with his team, but believed there was still plenty of room for improvement. "I am delighted with the way we played against Scotland and the intent we showed from the outset," he said, "but there was a feeling in the changing room afterwards that we had not taken all our opportunities. We have things to tidy up on."

Launchbury was also pleased with the start to the Six Nations, but said there was plenty more to come. "We wanted to kick on after New Zealand and we managed that, but we are not getting carried away. There are tougher battles ahead and we will have to be more clinical. We must not let our standards drop." England face a sterner challenge in their next match away to Ireland, who opened the Six Nations with a narrow win over Wales.

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