Jamie Ritchie calls on Scotland to back up Six Nations victory in England

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Captain Jamie Ritchie insists Scotland’s latest Calcutta Cup triumph must be a springboard to further successes and not another false dawn.

Gregor Townsend’s men toppled rivals England in their opening fixture of the Guinness Six Nations for the third successive year thanks to Saturday evening’s rousing 29-23 Twickenham victory.

The Scots were brought crashing back to earth by subsequent losses to Wales on the previous two occasions and ended fourth in the final championship table each time.

While Ritchie was eager to savour a further famous success over the Auld Enemy, he is determined to eradicate the frustrating inconsistency which has prevented his country pushing on to mount title challenges.

“It’s just the start,” said the Edinburgh flanker, ahead of another round-two showdown with Wales.

“We’re delighted to win and retain the Calcutta Cup but we’ve been in this position before and not backed it up so for us now it’s enjoy each other’s company and enjoy this victory but come Monday we’re starting again and ready to go.

“It was the first thing we spoke about in the huddle after the win, we all came together and said, ‘look, we’ve been in this position before and we’ve not backed it up’ and that for us is the most important thing.

“A strong tournament for us is five good performances so we will be looking for another one next week.”

Duhan van der Merwe scores Scotland's fourth try
Duhan van der Merwe scores Scotland’s fourth try (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Scotland had less possession and territory than their hosts in London but ruthlessly capitalised on their chances.

Duhan van der Merwe’s superb first-half try grabbed the headlines and his second score, six minutes from time, ultimately proved decisive as the Scots overturned an eight-point deficit to continue their recent dominance of the fixture.

Centre Huw Jones and scrum-half Ben White also crossed in a memorable bonus-point win which ruined Steve Borthwick’s maiden match as England head coach.

Ritchie hailed the doggedness of his side while warning there is plenty of room for improvement going into next weekend’s BT Murrayfield appointment with Warren Gatland’s Wales.

“I’m proud of how we stayed in the fight and we knew that if we stuck to our plan and we brought energy to how we wanted to play then we would create opportunities,” said the 26-year-old.

“It was a bit clunky maybe in the first half, our accuracy wasn’t maybe quite there, we coughed up the ball a few times.

“But when we looked to play, we created opportunities and we took enough of them to win the game.

“It’s good but it wasn’t the perfect performance and that’s probably a good thing as well, there’s so much more that we can do better.

“So for us it’s take those good bits, build on them, and improve on the bits that weren’t so good and focus straight on to next week.”

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