Scotland’s famous 11-6 win over England at Twickenham for the first time in 38 years didn’t come without drama, as a late England possession gave the home side the chance to repeat the ending of 2019’s classic draw where they scored five minutes into injury time.
Flyhalf Finn Russell attempted a drop goal with less than sixty seconds left on the clock that ended up getting charged down, leaving his side scrambling to recover the loose ball.
Man-of-the-match Stuart Hogg was there to clean up what could have become a disastrous ending with the game all but secured. With the forwards holding possession tight to wind down the clock, a drop goal was called with Russell back in the pocket despite not holding an advantage or time being up.
Under pressure, Russell moved to take the kick off his left foot leading to the charge down and a collective heart-in-mouth moment for all Scotland fans watching.
Commentator and former Irish international Alan Quinlan exclaimed ‘what in God’s name are they trying to do?!’ as Russell’s attempt was made. Fans described the scene as ‘utter madness’, ‘pure lunacy’, and a ‘total brain fart’ by Russell.
"What in God's name are they trying to do!?"
You're 5 points up Twickenham.
Less than 1 minute to go.
0 wins there in 38 years.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 6, 2021
Lot of people pilloring Finn Russell on here. Yes both the drop goal attempt at the end, & yellow card were brain fart moments, but otherwise his game management was superb. I think Duhan should do better with the cross field kick & as 4 goal kicking he's not the regular for R92.
— Maddal (@Maddal7) February 7, 2021
Utter madness. He's certainly a very talented player but two minutes away from victory and you do this? What was he thinking? "Finn Russell seals victory with brilliant drop goal" headlines is my thinking. Selfish and stupid.
— Alan Goulding (@gouldina) February 7, 2021
Well done Scotland! Total brain fart on the drop goal attempt at the end , but well well deserved win #ENGvSCO
— Sean O Sullivan (@sos100) February 6, 2021
Finn Russell had a poor game and was a liability at times! His team mates made up for his poor decisions though..thankfully https://t.co/8SQ6Ca83Df
— Ellen Reynor (@ellen_rey) February 6, 2021
Finn Russell called a drop goal, in the 79th minute, on his weaker foot in game we had complete control in and were about to win.
Let that sink in.
If a story breaks tomorrow of Townsend punching him in the face in the changing room. It will be welcome and entirely appropriate.
— JHC (@JHC17626935) February 6, 2021
Finn Russell really did his best to hand that game to England: "Haha, I think I'll try a drop goal from the half way line and gift England back possession". #ENGvSCO
— Rob Gill (@robggill) February 6, 2021
What is finn Russell playing at? Hahaha drop goal like ? some win for the bagpipe players that is ????????????????
— Aido (@aidofunter) February 6, 2021
I know! Insane!! Was that Finn Russell who called for the ball, and then made a bags of the attempted drop goal? He has a bit of X-factor in some games, but overall I reckon he’s more of a liability for the Scots.
— Arran Henderson (@arranqh) February 6, 2021
Delighted Scotland won but Finn Russell did his best to lose it on his own. The drop goal attempt at the end was pure lunacy. Huge credit to Hogg, Watson and Gray who showed tremendous leadership. Enjoy the win
— Philip O Reilly (@oreillyphilip) February 6, 2021
Thought Finn Russell seemed determined to lose it for them
— Paraic O’Toole (@paraicotoole) February 6, 2021
Russell’s moment summed up a mixed day for the re-called flyhalf, who had ups-and-downs throughout the match.
Five minutes from half time Russell was yellow carded for a foot trip on England scrumhalf Ben Youngs, allowing Owen Farrell to close the gap to 8-6 just before the half and reducing Scotland to 14-men.
RugbyPass columnist Gavin Harper afforded Russell the benefit of the doubt for his faux pas, awarding a generous 8 out of 10 rating.
“Some lovely touches in attack, including a cross-kick for van der Merwe,” he wrote.
“Linked well with Redpath but guilty of over-playing deep inside his own half on a couple of occasions. On another day, the yellow card could have been costly, but Scotland coped well without their talisman.”
Coach Gregor Townsend said that the squad was confident going into the match with a ‘calmness’ surrounding the side.
“There was a calmness on and off the field. I don’t know whether it’s because there’s no crowd.
“It felt like the players were in control today. We had a bit of defence to do at the end but the players stood up well. I’m very proud of the performance and there’s a lot more to come from the players.”
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