IT was cold and it rained and the wind was wickedly fickle. Unsurprisingly in those conditions, there was little creative rugby played, especially in a first half in which kicking predominated.

Scotland deserve credit for being more enterprising with ball in hand, but for the second week running they came away from a Six Nations game with only a losing bonus point to show for their efforts. It was also the second week running in which they failed to score a try – and this time they did not even come as close as they had in Dublin, where Stuart Hogg dropped the ball over the line.

England themselves only scored once, late in the game through substitute prop Ellis Genge, but in this type of contest even a single score was always going to have a huge impact. Owen Farrell had a difficult day with the boot, ending up with three successes from six attempts, but his eight points – two penalties and a conversion – were a crucial contribution nonetheless.

In the absence of a touchdown it was left to Adam Hastings to record the home team’s points with two penalties, while a couple of possible attempts at goal were turned down in favour of going for line-outs. Those decisions were clearly made with the conditions in mind, and some of the errors committed by both sides could also be ascribed to the wind.

Having said that, Scotland coach Gregor Townsend will still be concerned with the number and nature of mistakes made by his team, although he will also be encouraged by the spirit shown in adversity. For long enough, Scotland were in with a real chance of holding on to the Calcutta Cup for a third year, and although they failed in that attempt, their positive attitude showed a strength of purpose that could yet bear fruit at some point in the Championship.

England, of course, got a positive result out of the game, and after losing in France can now consider themselves to be in the running for the title again. They opened the scoring through Farrell after 10 minutes, by which time the centre had sent one more difficult attempt wide, and that turned out to be the only time the scoreboard was pressed into action before the break.

HeraldScotland:

A counter-attack by Blair Kinghorn midway through the half briefly promised to establish a good attacking platform for Scotland, but England won possession at the breakdown and the chance was gone. The visitors’ recycling was noticeably slicker when they were on the attack, but the same could not be said of Farrell’s kicking: when Scotland were penalised on the deck after 25 minutes, the No.12 again misjudged the wind from the edge of the 22 and sent his penalty curling wide of the far post. George Ford was also off target with a drop-goal attempt right on half time, so 0-3 it stayed at the break.

Scotland began the second half brightly with a break by Rory Sutherland, and levelled after 45 minutes through a Hastings penalty. Then a Hogg counter-attack from deep gained some 60 metres and gave renewed voice to the crowd, but that was a rare moment of inspiration for the home support.

As the final quarter-of-an-hour began, England started to turn the screw. Farrell missed the chance to put his team back in front after Scotland were penalised for a wheeled scrum, then he thought he had scored a try when he touched down after Hogg had guddled an attempt to deal with a Ford chip ahead.

The Scotland captain had tried to chase the ball down as it bobbled towards the goal line, and eventually touched down as it went over the line close to a post. It was initially uncertain whether he had applied downward pressure –something Farrell appeared to have done when he dived on it – but the TMO ruled in favour of the full-back, who hardly needed another glaring error after his failure to score a try last week.

That was only a brief reprieve, however, as England got good ball from the five-metre scrum, and a few phases late substitute prop Genge forced his way over. Farrell converted to make it 10-3,

and added another penalty a few minutes from time.

That put Scotland outside losing-bonus territory, but Hastings stepped up with two minutes to play to knock over a penalty and ensure that solitary match point.

England merited the win, but Scotland deserved that losing bonus after putting so much into the match. Losing bonuses, however, are cold consolation, and Townsend will be looking for a lot more when the team travel to Italy in a fortnight.

Scorers, Scotland - Pens: Hastings 2.

England - Try: Genge. Con: Farrell. Pens: Farrell 2.

Scotland: S Hogg; S Maitland, H Jones (C Harris 55), S Johnson, B Kinghorn; A Hastings, A Price; R Sutherland (A Dell 60), F Brown (S McInally 53), Z Fagerson (S Berghan 60), S Cummings (B Toolis 55), J Gray, J Ritchie, H Watson, M Bradbury (N Haining 74).

England: G Furbank; J May, J Joseph, O Farrell, E Daly; G Ford, W Heinz (B Youngs 58); M Viunipola (E Genge 56), J George, K Sinckler (W Stuart 78), M Itoje, G Kruis (J Launchbury 70), L Ludlam (C Lawes 52), S Underhill (B Earl 66), T Curry.

Referee: P Gauzere (France).