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Henry Slade dazzles but England’s kamikaze show will leave its mark | Gerard Meagher

Fears of a damp squib proved gloriously misplaced but such a dire collapse should worry Eddie Jones as Japan looms

Dead rubbers have a funny way of coming to life. England were home and hosed by half-time, playing with a swagger that reinforced their feeling of superiority over a Scotland side that was depleted, deflated and downright desperate. Forty minutes and five Scotland tries later England needed a last-gasp converted try to avoid a first defeat here by their auld enemy since 1983. At the start of the week England’s defence coach John Mitchell had predicted “chaos” – that barely covers it.

Quite how Scotland managed this turnaround, taking themselves to the verge of victory, will be pondered over for years to come – for this would have gone down as perhaps the most remarkable comeback in Six Nations history – but England, so assured in the first half, were simply shellshocked in the second. And it must be said that their familiar failings returned.

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