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Townsend: Scotland comeback 'hard to believe'

The Scots retain the Calcutta Cup after a test match of incredible drama at Twickenham.

Draw: Stuart McInally lifts the Calcutta Cup as Scotland retained the trophy
Draw: Stuart McInally lifts the Calcutta Cup as Scotland retained the trophy SNS Group
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend admitted he had never experienced anything like his team's the rollercoaster 76 point Calcutta Cup draw at Twickenham.

Townsend spoke of pride in his team after an incredible comeback from 31 points down to lead by seven points when the clock went dead - before a last gasp George Ford try denied them an historic win.

But he was quick to point out that his players were distraught not to have held on after scoring 38 unanswered points at a stadium Scotland have not won at since 1983.

Townsend said: "I've never been involved in a game of rugby like that as a player or a coach.

"There's not many games of rugby end up being 31-0 to 38-31 and end up at 38-all.

"Especially when you think about the team we were up against and the quality of defence they've got.

"I'm very happy with the draw considering what happened in the first half but the players are gutted.

"At the end they were so disappointed not to have won, which seems incredible to think when you're 31-0 down.

"We talked about just winning back respect. Winning the second half was going to be a huge challenge.

"Go go out and score five tries in the second half is hard to believe."

Captain Stuart McInally struggled to articulate the clash of emotions - coming so close to a victory that would have echoed through the ages but also retaining the Calcutta Cup and returning north with it in Scottish hands.

The Edinburgh hooker said: "It's a strange one. With a minute and a half to go you dare to dream that we might done it.

"We are really proud of that second half and we're disappointed with the first half.

"It is great to retain the Calcutta Cup, I'm not going to lie, that's a good feeling even though it was a draw and a game we could have won."

"We wanted to win the second half but at the time did we think we could go out and score 31 unanswered points? No, probably not.

"But you score, you score another, and then you start to believe."

England head coach Eddie Jones pointed to a recent history of his side suffering second half lapses and said it was something he was trying to root out.

And the Australian offered full praise to Scotland for their incredible comeback.

Jones said: "Our first half was exceptional rugby and we should have been ahead by a lot more.

"We got seduced by the scoreboard.

"[Scotland] came back really well. They've got plenty of heart, plenty of pace, plenty of endeavor and guys who were playing poorly in the first 30 minutes turned their games around.

"So a lot of credit to them."







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