Six Nations 2019: England 38-38 Scotland - Russell-Townsend 'argument' sparks revival

Fly-half Finn Russell revealed a half-time "argument" with head coach Gregor Townsend helped spark Scotland's remarkable comeback in their 38-38 Calcutta Cup draw with England.

The Scots were hammered in the first half and trailed 31-7 at the break.

But after an incredible second-half turnaround, only George Ford's last-gasp converted try denied Townsend's men a first Twickenham win since 1983.

"I actually had an argument with Gregor [at half-time]," Russell told ITV.

"I said to him 'you're telling us to kick and when we kick, they just run it back and cut us open, and when we run it, they're just hitting us behind the gain line and winning the ball back'.

"Second half, we just came out with nothing to lose, played our rugby, kicked out of our half and scored some great tries. We played good Scottish rugby."

'I'm just so gutted'

Scotland looked to be heading for a comprehensive thumping after shipping five tries in half an hour to fall 31-0 behind.

Stuart McInally's breakaway got them on the board before the break, but a comeback seemed fanciful.

However, Darcy Graham (twice), Magnus Bradbury and the outstanding Russell crossed to level the scores, before Sam Johnson's brilliant late try put them seven points ahead, a lead they held until Ford skipped over following masses of pressure in the 83rd minute.

Scotland retain the Calcutta Cup having beaten England a year ago, and the pulsating draw concludes an otherwise disappointing championship which featured a solitary victory over Italy, and losses to Ireland, France and Wales.

"At half-time, everyone would have written Scotland off," fly-half Russell added. "For us to have a second half like that was outstanding, showed the character the boys have, I'm just so gutted we didn't manage to finish if off after Sammy's try.

"A draw's good but we need to win these games when they're that close. The whole campaign has been a bit frustrating for us but we did ourselves right by coming out second half and playing really well."

Six Nations: Gregor Townsend reflects on 'incredible' turnaround

'What we did just doesn't happen in sport'

Scotland lost their 2015 World Cup quarter-final to Australia in agonising circumstances at the same venue, falling to an incorrectly-awarded penalty two minutes from time.

Townsend says some of his players feel as deflated as they did after that showpiece exit, but insists their revival was "outstanding".

"You're 31-0 down and you end up 38-31 ahead - that doesn't tend to happen in this venue against this team," he told BBC Scotland.

"They played intelligently, they defended like lions, and they attacked really well, scored some great tries, and they're really disappointed not to have got the win, which seems incredible after where we were.

"It felt for some of the players like the quarter-final against Australia, one of those games that went back and forth, and right at the end the team that were leading didn't hang on.

"What we did in the second half just doesn't happen in sport - or very, very rarely - so that achievement is incredible, but I know it'll hurt the players and that hurt will drive them on to make sure we're better."

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