Brown: Pitch not fit for Test match

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Mike Brown scored England's second try against Scotland Mike Brown scored England's second try against Scotland

England full-back Mike Brown may have graced Murrayfield with a man-of-the-match 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 that 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.

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

"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.

The 28-year-old was the star of last autumn's QBE Internationals, but his impact was confined to running the ball out of defence. Now he is more involved in attack and England are reaping the rewards.

Remarkably, his heroics were produced despite falling ill on the journey to Edinburgh and he was close to vomiting on more than one occasion as he addressed the media.

"I think I caught a bug through the air-con when travelling up here. I didn't sleep too well on Friday night and I have a really sore throat now," the Harlequins back said.

"I've had the shakes and you know when you're ill you are sensitive to every little knock and the cold. It wasn't ideal but you have to do what you can do.

"I dosed up on paracetamol and all the things you are allowed to take. But the throat is definitely really sore now.

"I'm looking forward to chilling out on Sunday, seeing the missus and watching some TV."

Brown operated amid a highly effective back three with Nowell and Jonny May threatening from the wings - particularly May, whose spirited running thrilled Murrayfield.

"The back three were outstanding. We let ourselves down, especially defensively, against France," Brown said.

"Credit to the two youngsters (Nowell and May). When they get the ball they are quite electric so it's great to play alongside them."

After back-to-back away games, England now return to Twickenham where they will host Ireland and Wales before concluding their title challenge against Italy in Rome.

Brian O'Driscoll's side emerged impressive 26-3 winners over Wales in Dublin, setting up their eagerly awaited visit to London in two weeks' time.

"Ireland did a good job on Wales and it takes a very good side to do that," Brown said.

"They'll want to spoil our party at Twickenham and we need to work hard to make sure they don't."

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