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Rugby Union: We're too good to blow it again vows Matt.

MATT DAWSON leads England into Grand Slam battle at Murrayfield on Sunday warning their Six Nations rivals: "You ain't seen nothing yet."

Unbeaten England have already smashed the championship record for most points scored, improving their previous total by 24.

They notched their biggest winning margin in Italy a fortnight ago, and are within one try of their best tally of 20, recorded 86 years ago.

They have conceded, on average, only one try a match and would have to lose to Scotland by 40 points, with Ireland beating Wales by 40, to lose the title.

Against such a backdrop, Scotland coach Ian McGeechan last night spoke of the "fear of failure" which haunts him and admitted that England could win despite playing badly.

Yet Dawson was in no mood to rest on his laurels and claimed: "We have yet to play even close to where we think we can play."

Scotland are terrified of a whitewash, while England are trying not to recall the way they blew the Grand Slam in the last minute of the last match against Wales.

"Wembley was the lowest point in my rugby career and I don't want to feel like that any time again," said Dawson.

Meanwhile McGeechan, the grand master of turning water to wine in rugby terms, said: "We have to play well all the time and we can't just rely on passion. The game at this level is now more than just motivation.

"Three or four years ago there was a feeling that if you could get it right against England tactically, they were vulnerable because of the limited way in which they played.

"But all that has changed. I really do think they're playing very well and they have some very good players in key positions."

McGeechan has called up uncapped forwards Richard Metcalfe and Jason White in an attempt to add pace and stability to his pack while shutting down England's impressive back row.

Dawson, who played under McGeechan for Northampton and the Lions, is taking nothing for granted.

"Scotland having a chance to stop England from achieving their goals and that will rank highly in Geech's motivation for this match," he said.

"He is one of those coaches who develops players from being an average club player into an international. With him in charge we know they are going to be fired up, and it is going to be an extremely tough game."

ENGLAND SUCCESSES OF THE 1990'S

CRICKET (Test series): 1998 South Africa (H) 2-1; 1996-97 New Zealand (A) 2-0; 1996 India (H) 1-0; 1994 New Zealand (H) 1-0; 1991-92 New Zealand (A) 2-0; 1990 India (H) 1-0.

CRICKET (one-day internationals): 1997 Champions Trophy at Sharjah; 1997 Australia (H) 3-0; 1996 India (H) 2-0; 1995 West Indies (H) 2-1; 1994

New Zealand (H) 1-0; 1992 Pakistan (H) 4-1; 1991 West Indies (H) 3-0.

FOOTBALL 1997 Le Tournoi tournament held in France as a dress rehearsal for the following year's World Cup. England defeated Italy 2-0 and France 1-0 to win the trophy despite losing to Brazil in their final match.

RUGBY LEAGUE 1996 Super League. European Champions England crushed France 73-6 before defeating Wales 26-12 at Cardiff.

RUGBY UNION 1996 Five Nations Championship/Triple Crown; 1995 Grand Slam winners; 1992 Grand Slam winners; 1991 Grand Slam winners.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:SPINK, Alex
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 31, 2000
Words:551
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