Scotland can spring Six Nations shock on England without Russell, says Kinghorn

By Sports Desk February 05, 2020

Blair Kinghorn believes Scotland have the creativity and confidence to defeat England and retain the Calcutta Cup on Saturday, despite the absence of Finn Russell.

Russell has been left out of Scotland's squad for the Six Nations clash with Eddie Jones' side at Murrayfield.

The mercurial fly-half was axed for the 19-12 defeat to Ireland last weekend after being disciplined for a "breach of team protocol".

Pre-tournament favourites England fell to a shock 24-17 loss to France in their opener, so both teams go into the match with a point to prove.

And Kinghorn reckons Scotland, who drew 38-38 at Twickenham last year, can replicate their home victory over England from 2018, even without Racing 92 star Russell.

"Finn is a great player but I have full belief in everyone in the team," said Edinburgh full-back Kinghorn.

"I fully believe we have all the creativity we need. Adam Hastings played really well against Ireland and it is great to see boys like Huw Jones coming back into some form – he's a devastating player.

"Even though we didn't get the result last week, we showed some really positive things away to Ireland. The review after the game was good.

"We've not had the results we've wanted in the last year, we all know that, so Saturday is a massive game for us. I fully believe we can get a result and that can kickstart a really successful year.

"Everyone in the team is really positive and we have full belief in ourselves that we can put in a winning performance.

"It would mean everything. It's a massive game at home, we want to retain the Calcutta Cup and get the points for the table."

Kinghorn conceded there was huge frustration at the missed opportunity in Dublin, where captain Stuart Hogg dropped the ball when he looked certain to score a try in what he admitted was a "schoolboy error".

"Losing is not fun at all," added Kinghorn. "We had chances to win but we gave away too many penalties and turnover ball at crucial points.

"It's something we've looked pretty hard at but it's never nice to lose, especially when we had not won over there for 10 years, so it was a big opportunity. 

"It's a quick turnaround so we've only got time to look at the things we can improve and then move on. Everyone is looking to get stuck in.

"Every time you come back from a loss you come in, look at the footage and try to bounce onto the next game – and there is no better one than England at home."

Hogg, meanwhile, took to Twitter to thank fans for their backing.

"It was a tough weekend but I'm very grateful for the support from everyone involved in the group," he wrote. "Can't wait to get back out there this weekend with the boys and put things right."

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Jos Buttler open to two England matches per day when cricket returns Coronavirus: Jos Buttler open to two England matches per day when cricket returns

    Jos Buttler feels players will be open to everything, including two England matches being played in the same day, once cricket returns after the coronavirus pandemic.

    The explosive batsman understands the importance of the revenue generated from international matches and a crowded schedule is likely if planned series' and tournaments in 2020 are to be salvaged.

    Buttler believes players will be flexible in the instance of an intense run of fixtures, even if it meant days where there were multiple matches taking place.

    He also thinks there will be a surge in fan interest after the break in sport, ensuring venues would sell out for games in quick succession.

    "I think we have to be open to absolutely everything," Cricket World Cup winner Buttler said to talkSPORT. "It's so difficult to plan anything because everyone is in limbo with all things going on. 

    "International cricket is going to be vital to the game and the revenue that comes into the game.

    "If we can get any [cricket played], or as much as we can, if that means two games in the same day, then we have to be open to that.

    "Everyone who is really missing their sport, hopefully when this is all over we will all appreciate it even more and want to flock to the grounds to all the different sports to watch the games. 

    "I'm sure you could fill up two grounds if you had two teams playing on the same day."

    Buttler is in the process of auctioning off the shirt he was wearing when he sealed England's historic World Cup final win over New Zealand.

    The 29-year-old was wearing the shirt, which has been signed by his team-mates, when he ran Martin Guptill out to conclude a dramatic Super Over at Lord's last July.

    It will provide much-needed funds for the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, which launched an emergency appeal to provide life-saving equipment for COVID-19 sufferers.

    The highest bid now stands at £65,800, delighting Buttler, who added: "I'm auctioning off my World Cup shirt and it's obviously gone way better than I thought it would already.

    "It’s an amazing amount of money. The charity that supports the hospitals started an emergency fund to buy emergency equipment they need now because of the increase in patients due to the outbreak.

    "We thought that auctioning the shirt would be a great way to raise money for that."

  • The England shirt weighs heavy - Capello claims Three Lions have mental block The England shirt weighs heavy - Capello claims Three Lions have mental block

    Fabio Capello believes the biennial expectation that England may be able to replicate their 1966 success is harmful to the Three Lions' players at major tournaments.

    England won the World Cup 54 years ago and have suffered heartache at numerous tournaments since, including during Capello's stint between 2007 and 2012.

    The Italian was in charge for the 2010 World Cup, when England crashed to a 4-1 loss to Germany in their last-16 clash.

    "The England shirt weighs heavy," Capello told The Guardian.

    "So much time has passed without winning - '66 is a problem because whenever a World Cup or Euros starts, they think they can do it again. Always, always, always.

    "It's important to play without that weight, with more freedom. A lot is psychology but, honestly, I think the problem England have is they arrive at tournaments tired."

    Capello explained that the competitive nature of the Premier League, which only introduced a mini mid-season break for the first time this season, was the issue.

    "In September, October, November, we had no problem playing the world's best teams," Capello argued.

    "In March, April, so-so. In June, problems. That's why I think it is physical.

    "You play a lot of [club] games and your culture is: fight, fight, fight, never stop, even if you're four down. I liked that."

    Gareth Southgate took England to the World Cup semi-finals two years ago only to suffer defeat at the hands of Croatia after extra time in Russia.

    "My team was a bit old, we didn't have young players and in the past there was tiredness, now they have good young players," Capello added.

    "Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling are important. There's quality, speed, everything. If I have a doubt now, it’s the centre-backs but England have lads who are younger, fresher.

    "You also need confidence and England have that now."

  • Remember the name? Carlos Brathwaite and the sixes that clinched West Indies T20 glory Remember the name? Carlos Brathwaite and the sixes that clinched West Indies T20 glory

    It is April 3, 2016. Carlos Brathwaite is on strike and there is one over to go in the ICC World Twenty20 final in Calcutta.

    West Indies require 19 runs to win a see-saw final that has ebbed and flowed like the nearby Hooghly River. Having recovered from a shocking start, England have a first limited-overs international trophy seemingly within touching distance.

    They battled back from 23-3 to post 155-9. Having top-scored with 54, Joe Root claimed two of three early wicket to fall in West Indies' reply with his occasional off-spin.

    Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo put on a 73 for the fourth wicket, yet when Andre Russell and Darren Sammy both fell to David Willey in the space of three deliveries, England were the team in charge.

    After Chris Jordan managed to deny the well-set Samuels from claiming the strike at the end of the penultimate over, Ben Stokes was tasked with seeing the job through.

    His previous two overs in the game had gone for eight and nine runs respectively – combine those two together and it would still be enough for Eoin Morgan’s side to be crowned champions.

    Brathwaite, however, has other ideas…

     

    BALL ONE: WHAT A START!

    When you need so many off so few, an early maximum quickly heaps the pressure back on the bowler. 

    Stokes appears to aim for a yorker but only serves up a half-volley instead, one he's shoved down leg so far that Brathwaite simply has to help the ball on its way, depositing it over the boundary at backward square leg with a flick of the wrists.

    A gift. An absolute gift. Stokes should have sent it down with a bow on. West Indies now need just 13 from five.

    BALL TWO: IT'S UP, UP, UP AND OUTTA HERE!

    Straighter – but still in the slot from Stokes. Brathwaite manoeuvres his front foot out of the way to clear space for the bat to come through and send this one much straighter down the ground – and several metres back into a now delirious crowd inside Eden Gardens.

    Stokes pulls a face in response to suggest he either feels he was not too far off target or he's just eaten something that's way too hot. Either way, he's hurting. The once-taxing equation is now down to a seriously manageable sum of seven from off four. 

    Can England somehow claw this back?

    BALL THREE: GOING, GOING, GONE!

    No. Braithwaite does it again as the noise levels inside the ground rise even higher.

    It's a similar stroke to the last maximum, only this time the right-hander manages to send his home run over long off. There is a brief moment after it departs the bat that you wonder if it is going to clear the fielder, like a golfer who initially fears he's taken the wrong club and could end up in the water. In the end, though, the man in the deep just watches it sail over him.

    West Indies require just one to win and the rest of the squad are now off their feet out of the dugout and ready to start celebrating. 

    BALL FOUR: WEST INDIES WIN! WEST INDIES WIN!

    Forget knocking it into a gap to pinch a single. Brathwaite winds up again as he gets another ball on his pads, allowing him to finish the job in style.

    As it sails into the sky to such an extent towards mid wicket that air traffic control may need to get involved to help find a landing spot, the hero of the over stretches out his arms as team-mates rush out to the middle. What initially seemed a seriously tough challenge completed with room to spare.

    "Carlos Brathwaite ​– remember the name!" Ian Bishop booms on commentary. Few who have witnessed it – whether live at the ground or on television – will forget it, least of all poor Stokes.

    West Indies complete one of the most stunning heists in limited-overs cricket to be crowned T20 champions for a second time.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.