Duhan van der Merwe acknowledged that even he was surprised by his first attempt at magic after playing the starring role in Scotland’s historic Six Nations victory over England.
The flying wing hit two five-pointers in a 29-23 win, giving Scotland back-to-back wins against England at Twickenham for the first time.
There was a touch of Jonah Lomu greatness in both of Van der Merwe’s tries, as he ran from his own half to score a remarkable first goal before his power saw him shake off England’s bodies to snatch the latest game-winning effort. game.
England came from behind to lead 13-12 at the interval, and then stretched that to 20-12 thanks to Max Malins’ second try, but the Scots weren’t through and Ben White brought them back into the game before Van der Merwe produced his second installment of sweeping heroics.
Van der Merwe told ITV: “We came here wanting to start the campaign on a high. After the first half we knew we had more in us and we went out for the second half with a bang and managed to get the win over England so we we’re obviously buzzing.
“They scored pretty early, and we said we had to stay in the fight. We managed to get some points on the board and we got some confidence from that.”
Looking at his first slice of brilliance, destined to be remembered for many years to come, Van der Merwe said: “As a winger you don’t get many opportunities so I needed to seize that opportunity.
“After scoring my first try, I was pretty surprised as well, so I’ll take that one any time of the day.”
Told he was taking the white shirts by storm, showing no mercy, Van der Merwe said: “At the end of the day, I always say that’s my job.”
The South African-born player said Scotland must now build on their success, adding: “We talked about getting our first Six Nations win and now we need to take some confidence and hopefully get our second win next week.”
Manager Gregor Townsend echoed that sentiment, calling for a strong performance against Wales at Murrayfield next time out.
Townsend called Scotland’s success “a brilliant victory” as his team have beaten England on the opening weekend of the Championship for three years running.
However, he feels there is still something better to come, saying, “Our ceiling is much higher than that.
“We couldn’t play until well into the second half, and a lot of that was down to England’s tactics and how they dominated possession, but a lot of it was down to us as well.
“We will be better for today, and we have to make sure that next week we perform better, because in the last two or three Six Nations we haven’t made it to the second round.”
England captain Owen Farrell said there was reason to be encouraged by what was Steve Borthwick’s first game as head coach, after taking over from the sacked Eddie Jones in December.
Farrell said: “I think we started 11 days ago and there’s been a massive improvement over the 11 days, and trying to get that out on the field today, I thought we largely did that.
“There are some things we need to look at and we need to improve, but we’ll review it tomorrow and the day after. We’ll make sure to improve from here.”
“We got into the fight very well – even though Scotland played to the end and scored the try at the end, it never felt like we were gone. We’ll take a good look at it and make sure we build on that.”