Finn Russell: Half-time ‘argument’ with Gregor Townsend sparked Calcutta Cup fightback

Finn Russell admitted he was “gutted” not to have beaten England at Twickenham after Scotland came back from 31-0 down after 29 minutes to lead 38-31 with the clock in the red.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 16th March 2019, 7:27 pm
Updated Saturday, 16th March 2019, 7:52 pm
Finn Russell is tackled by England wing Jonny May. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Finn Russell is tackled by England wing Jonny May. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

The man of the match, who scored nine points including Scotland’s fifth try, told ITV Sport: “I’m gutted, to be honest. I think at half-time everyone would have written Scotland off there.

“It was 31-7, so for us to come out and have a second half like that was outstanding - it showed the character that the boys have.

“I’m just so disappointed and gutted that we didn’t manage to finish it off at the end there after Sammy’s (Sam Johnson) try.

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“A couple of minutes to go and we’re seven points up. A draw is good but in the whole tournament we need to win these games when they’re close.”

When asked what was said in the Scotland dressing room at half-time to prompt the turnaround, Russell added: “I think I actually had an argument with Gregor.

“I said ‘you’re telling us to kick and when we kick it they’re just running it back and cut us open and when we run it they’re just hitting us behind the gain line and winning the ball back’.

“In the first half we got caught off-guard with England - similar to two years ago - and then in the second half we just came out and had nothing to lose.

“We just played our rugby, we played well, kicked out of our half and scored some great tries.

“I think we just played good, Scottish rugby in the second half.”