Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Brown Pitches in to Ground Debate; England Hero Unhappy over State of Murrayfield

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Brown Pitches in to Ground Debate; England Hero Unhappy over State of Murrayfield

Article excerpt

SCOTLAND 0 ENGLAND 20 ENGLAND full-back Mike Brown may have graced Murrayfield with a man-of-thematch performance, but he still condemned the pitch as unfit for international sport.

A 20-0 victory over Scotland revived the RBS 6 Nations title aspirations dented by France as a potentially awkward Calcutta Cup clash was negotiated with impressive ease.

The only flaw was the inability to add to the tries scored by Brown and Luther Burrell against feeble opposition and in a Championship that could be settled by points difference.

Every bit as alarming as Scotland's frailty was the disgraceful condition of their parasite-infested pitch which was covered in large patches of mud and was in a pitiful state even before kick-off.

The Scottish Rugby Union is to install a hybrid artificial surface in time for next season and Brown deems it inadequate for Test rugby in its present form.

He said: "It definitely has an impact when you play on a pitch like that.

"It's not really good enough to play an international game on that sort of turf. This is elite sport and an international game can get ruined by a pitch like that.

"I know Scotland want to play a bit more and we definitely want to play a bit more, but the condition of the pitch didn't really help.

"Owen Farrell is a phenomenal world-class goal-kicker and you could see he was slipping with his standing foot. A lot of lads did well to keep their footing.

"I'm sure they're doing the best they can to make it right but I'm not sure it's good enough to play an international match on that.

"I'm sure the Scotland players are as frustrated as us."

For all his strong words, the boggy surface failed to prevent Brown from tormenting the Scots by repeatedly breaking the first tackle with a trademark display of strength and tenacity.

When offered sight of the whitewash by the elusive footwork of Jack Nowell, Stuart Hogg blocked his path but there was only one winner of that duel as Brown ran in his second try in two matches. …

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