Gregor Townsend believes Scotland’s first win at Twickenham since 1983 could be the nation’s greatest ever Test victory.
An inspired Scotland stunned insipid England with a gritty performance, shaking off Finn Russell’s yellow card to prevail 11-6 in west London.
Duhan Van Der Merwe’s try and Russell’s two penalties ensured Scotland claimed just their fifth win at Twickenham, condemning error-ridden England to a deserved defeat.
A delighted head coach Townsend paid tribute to his focused and accurate side, accepting he knows this result will immediately go down in history.
“I came down here a number of times as a player and then as a coach and hadn’t come away with anything,” said Townsend.
“So this result is definitely up there with the best ever results in our history, and certainly myself in my coaching career.
“Today the players were outstanding in really tricky conditions.
“It was wet the whole game, really heavy rain in the second half.
“So to win in these conditions against a very good side is a fantastic achievement.”
Townsend’s Scotland have battled through patchy results and performances in pushing beyond the 2019 World Cup, but now the former Test fly-half insists his squad are ready to step up and be counted.
“We all enjoyed last year, you learn in defeats, grow as a team in adversity,” said Townsend.
“We had moments before and after the World Cup, and that’s how we’ve been shaped as a group of players and coaches.
“It was so good to see the players play so well in the period of Finn Russell’s yellow card, and we won that 10 minutes 3-0.
“It wasn’t just one way of playing, we had a lot of variety and a lot of maturity in our play.”
Captain Stuart Hogg admitted his team had been confident they could pull off a first win at Twickenham for Scotland in 38 years.
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) February 6, 2021
The Exeter full-back also labelled the victory as a boost for a nation just as ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic as the rest of the UK.
“We’d talked a lot in the last couple of weeks about lifting a nation, and I believe we’ve done that today,” said Hogg.
“This win is a huge deal to us all. During the week we said that if we got everything right on both sides of the ball we’d give ourselves a chance, and we did exactly that.
“I’m incredibly proud of the boys. We believed we could dome down here and win, but we kept that to ourselves.
“It was incredible for us.”