The winger had to finish from long-range for his second score

a Duhan van der Merwe try against England? The Scotland wing loves crossing the try-line against the auld enemy, and his second score against England in the 2024 instalment of the Calcutta Cup was another special one. But the build-up to it was pretty novel.

Back at the Rugby World Cup in 2023, England benefitted from the ‘falcon’ – the ball hitting someone’s face.

That day, the ball bounced off Joe Marler’s head in a bizarre assist for a try against Japan. But in Edinburgh, during the Six Nations clash, the ball ricocheted off of full-back George Furbank’s face to give possession over to Scotland. From a break it was worked to Duhan van der Merwe, who powered to his second try of the afternoon.

Huw Jones did well to get the ball away to van der Merwe under pressure, once he caught the ball that had bounced off Furbank’s head. But the winger had it all to do as he ran it in from long-range.

Furbank actually opened the scoring, with a fine score from a strike move, early in the first half.

And then van der Merwe got his first score, also from a strike move.

Of course, you may remember the van der Merwe wonder try from last year’s Calcutta Cup – and that incredible moment was immortalised in the Netflix series Full Contact. The producers should have plenty to work with from this game, for series two as well.

Scotland took a slender lead into the half-time break against England. But the question is: can they stay ahead? The Calcutta Cup is one tense affair, these days…

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