Brilliant Paterson steals show from Wilkinson
On the day Jonny Wilkinson set a world points record, the England flyhalf was upstaged by opposite number Chris Paterson in Scotland’s upset 15-9 victory at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Paterson, a metronome-like place kicker, is on a remarkable run of 30 successful penalties and conversions in a row dating back to the 2007 World Cup after his four penalties on Saturday secured Scotland’s first win of the year.
Wilkinson, who booted three out of four penalties, took his international points tally to 1 099, surpassing Welshman Neil Jenkins.
The Scots had lost all three previous matches in the tournament but put in a disciplined performance in foul weather against a poor and erratic England side who upset France in Paris two weeks earlier.
Conditions were difficult in the wind and driving rain, said Paterson, who nearly missed his third penalty of the afternoon, which gave Scotland a 9-3 half-time lead, the ball sailing low but just getting over the bar.
“The wind was the biggest factor. There was a strong cross wind,” Paterson told reporters.
His second kick from nearly 40m out on the left was brilliant.
“It was the same range as at the World Cup against Argentina,” he said, referring to the quarterfinal in Paris that Scotland lost narrowly to the Pumas.
Paterson, something of a utility back, started at flyhalf before moving to his World Cup position on the wing when Rory Lamont was injured after 25 minutes and Dan Parks, a number 10, came on as the replacement.
The 29-year-old had played well at flyhalf but accepted the move without problems, saying: “That was in the script if there was an injury”.
Scotland won the tactical kicking game against the English and also had the luck that deserted them in previous matches, Paterson said.
“Decision-making won the game. It was quite a mature performance,” said Paterson.
England coach Brian Ashton lamented his team’s poor decision-making and kicking from hand but Paterson said: “What Scotland did was to react. The team is probably getting used to playing together”.
Scotland’s last game is against Italy in Rome next Saturday when they will be looking to avoid the wooden spoon.
“Rome is a hard place to go and harder for Scotland,” said Paterson. “We have had a couple of defeats there but I’m looking forward to it.”—Reuters