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Rugby

First Scottish Grand Slam

Flying winger Smith, who like MacPherson played his club rugby at Oxford University at that time, bagged an amazing four tries in that opening fixture against France. MacPherson himself, a real powerhouse and playmaker in midfield, was involved in practically every Scotland try on that day. Wallace bagged a brace of tries to complete what was a fairly comprehensive victory on the day. France did not cross the Scottish line and were well beaten their only points coming from a du Manoir drop goal, worth 4 points in those days.

Scotland v Wales in 1927

© SCRAN

A fortnight later, on 7 February and the buoyant Scottish team took to the road. Swansea was their destination and a game against Wales on their own territory always held a tough challenge.

Once again Ian Smith rose to the occasion and incredulously scored yet another four tries. Scotland raced away to a 5-24 lead; their backs showing a devastating turn of pace, brilliant handling, masterly passing and ran the home team ragged for most of the game. They couldn't keep up that amazing level of performance for the full 80 minutes however and to the credit of the Welsh they never gave up and actually managed two late unconverted tries and a penalty goal to put a more respectable face on the final score, which finished as Wales 14 Scotland 24.

Having reached the halfway point of this epic season, the Scots bandwagon was slowed down, but not derailed in Dublin. Three weeks later at Lansdowne Road, Ian Smith couldn't maintain his tournament average of four tries per game and indeed failed to cross the Irish line on this occasion.

However, once again it was the backs again who represented the difference between the two sides in an extremely tight game. Wallace and MacMyn scored Scotland's two tries in a 14-8 victory for the visiting side. Wallace's try was a particularly spectacular one, the result of an excellent passing and running move.

So the Scots hosted the Auld Enemy on 21 March 1925 with the chance for this group of players to write their names into the annals of rugby history. Murrayfield's first day was to prove one of the new stadium's more famous days. On a sparkling, sunny spring afternoon a truly memorable game of rugby unfolded, watched by a record crowd of over 70,000. This was a closely contested game between two wonderfully talented sides and which saw the lead change hands three times. High drama and controversy added to the potent mixture.

It was the English team which grabbed an early initiative, with a Luddington penalty goal, putting his side 3-0 up. The Scots stormed back quickly J.B. Nelson of Glasgow Accies scoring a try which was converted by full back Drysdale, of Heriots FP. 5-3 to the homers.

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