6N: England scores late try to draw 38-38 against Scotland
LONDON (AP) — 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.
Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80