6N: England scores late try to draw 38-38 against Scotland

LONDON — England replacement George Ford scored a converted try in the third minute of injury time to secure a 38-38 draw against Scotland in the Six Nations and prevent the visitors completing the greatest comeback in the history of international rugby.

Trailing 31-0 after 31 minutes, Scotland scored six tries and 38 unanswered points to lead 38-31 in the 76th minute. No team had previously come back from more than 24 points down to win.

But a remarkable match between the sport's oldest rivals had one final twist, with Ford bursting through a gap in a tired Scotland defense to dive over between the posts before converting to seal a draw.

Scotland still hasn't won at Twickenham since 1983.

With Wales beating Ireland 25-7 earlier Saturday to clinch the Grand Slam, the English started their match knowing they could not win the title — but they seemed intent on having a party nonetheless.

They secured a bonus point by the 29th minute thanks to tries by Jack Nowell — after 67 seconds — Tom Curry, Joe Launchbury and Jonny May. Mixing power with flicks and offloads, England was overwhelming its fierce rival and having fun doing it.

The turnaround for Scotland began with a try that felt at the time like a consolation. Hooker Stuart McInally charged down Owen Farrell's crossfield kick near halfway, collected the ball and managed to sprint all the way to the line — shrugging off May on the way.

That was in the 35th minute and it was still looking like a damage-limitation exercise for the Scots against an opponent that had been rampant.

Scotland's players came out after the break with a completely different body language and frame of mind. They scored four tries in 13 minutes through Darcy Graham (two), Magnus Bradbury and Finn Russell, and England was simply shell-shocked.

When Sam Johnson was sent through by Russell at halfway and barged over the line, the greatest rugby comeback ever was on.

Ford, though, ensured England survived that embarrassment.


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Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80

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