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Six Nations: Six of the Best - Scotland v England

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Bryn Palmer | 00:44 UK time, Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Welcome to the first in a series of 'Six of the Best', our chance to remind you of some of the most memorable matches associated with a particular Six Nations fixture.

In the build-up to each Six Nations weekend in 2012, you can watch a compilation of six of the best games in recent memory between two particular countries, with extended highlights of two of them on the BBC Sport website and BBC's Red Button service.

We start with the oldest international fixture of them all. Scotland and England have been going at it since 1871 and played each other on 129 occasions. England have won 69 times to Scotland's 42, with 18 draws.

So what recollections does the Calcutta Cup - the trophy awarded since 1879 to the winner of this annual encounter - conjure up for you? Grand Slam deciders? Murrayfield awash with passion? Triumph or torture at Twickenham? Here are a few reminders to jog the memory and whet the appetite ahead of the next instalment.

And don't forget, we want your memories - good and bad - of these matches, plus others that do not make our list. View the montage below then let us have your thoughts.


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1980 - Scotland 18-30 England - This was a victory for England's formidable pack, led by captain Billy Beaumont, but also their three-quarters, with future knight of the realm Clive Woodward enjoying one of his finest hours as a player. He created the first two tries for John Carleton and Mike Slemen with his elusive running before Carleton crossed for his second after a powerful England scrum.

Scotland, down 23-6 early in the second half after Steve Smith scored England's fourth try, made a good fist of a comeback, running the ball from everywhere and scoring tries via lock Alan Tomes and an individual gem from fly-half John Rutherford.

But Carleton completed his hat-trick as England secured their first outright championship since 1963 and a first Grand Slam since 1957 in a match one report suggested was "played in a spirit almost of chivalry". Beaumont was carried off shoulder high at the end.

1983 - England 12-22 Scotland - This remains Scotland's last win at Twickenham, a barren run that will stretch to 30 years by the time they venture to south-west London next year. Both countries went into the game without a win but it was Scotland who got the upper hand on this occasion. England went on to lose their final game in Ireland to finish with the Wooden Spoon.

The Scots were aggrieved when New Zealand referee Tom Doocey failed to award them a penalty try after centre Keith Robertson broke through and England scrum-half Steve Smith tackled Jim Renwick without the ball. Doocey awarded a penalty, which Peter Dods kicked, but Scotland did score "one of the great Calcutta Cup tries", according to the late, great Bill McLaren's commentary, through scrum-half Roy Laidlaw.

England dominated the tight exchanges but Scotland were sharper in attack, with Robertson, who landed a drop-goal near the end, particularly prominent alongside the recalled Rutherford. The final blow was delivered by lock Tom Smith, who out-jumped England's Steve Bainbridge at a line-out to dot down for a debut try, sparking wild celebrations among the Scottish players and supporters.

1990 - Scotland 13-7 England - One of the great moments in the Championship's history. Both countries going for the Grand Slam, the political backdrop of the hated Poll Tax being tried out on Scotland, the perceived hatred towards emblematic England captain Will Carling, who had his head transposed onto the body of King Edward II, in the Scottish tabloid press in the build-up.

Scotland adopted "Flower of Scotland" as their pre-match anthem that year and this was only the second time if had been officially used. McLaren said he had "never heard such an emotional rendering", moments after Scotland captain David Sole had led his team onto the pitch with a long, slow walk, stirring Murrayfield into a patriotic frenzy.

Two years ago, on the 20th anniversary, Sole denied the political backdrop had anything to do with the match itself. "It was simply a game of rugby - the only difference was that there was a Grand Slam at stake," he said. Jeremy Guscott scored a cracking try for England after Carling's break, but the only one people remember is Tony Stanger's. As McLaren described it: "Pick up by Jeffrey...Jeffrey to Armstrong...Armstrong nicely out to Gavin Hastings...Gavin Hastings goes for the kick through...on goes Stanger...Stanger could be there's a try!...a magnificent try for the 21-year-old!"

1999 - England 24-21 Scotland. Until last year, when Scotland made life seriously tough for England but still came off second best, this was the closest the visitors had come to ending their miserable run at Twickenham since a 12-12 draw in 1989.

Initially, it appeared the pattern of the preceding years would continue when England went 14 points up inside the first 10 minutes thanks to tries from Nick Beal and Dan Luger. But the Scots, who had beaten Wales at home in their opening game, hit back to play some sublime rugby, with Alan Tait scoring two tries and Gregor Townsend one. Kenny Logan converted all three but ultimately his three missed penalties proved the difference, with England hanging on grimly at the death.

Last year, Logan admitted he is still haunted by the memory of costing Scotland a Grand Slam, even though he did not know it at the time. But at least Scotland had the consolation of going on to win the last ever Five Nations title in dramatic style, a stunning 36-22 victory in Paris on the final weekend, tasting all the sweeter after England lost their Grand Slam decider with Wales at Wembley.

2000 - Scotland 19-13 England - England going for the Grand Slam, Scotland seeking to avoid a whitewash after losing their first four games in the first year of the Six Nations. It was set up for a mugging - and so it proved as England inadvisedly tried to play rugby in the wet conditions, while Scotland summoned reserves of strength and defensive resolve to repel the favourites.

A ferocious opening quarter saw scuffles breaking out at every turn as the fired-up Scottish forwards - with 7ft giant Richard Metcalfe and flanker Jason White making their debuts - waded into their opposite numbers. A Duncan Hodge penalty opened the scoring, only for England to take a 10-3 lead courtesy of Lawrence Dallaglio's converted try and a Jonny Wilkinson penalty.

But Hodge's kicking first kept the Scots in touch and then put them into the lead, before the fly-half delivered the decisive blow, diving over the puddles from close range for the game-clinching try. Scotland captain Andy Nicol, now part of the BBC's match-day team, enjoyed his finest hour. "People were incredulous," he recalled. "The euphoria and sense of satisfaction at the end was incredible."

2007 - England 42-20 Scotland - What a comeback. After a catalogue of injuries had kept him out of the Test scene for three years following his World Cup-winning drop-goal in 2003, Jonny Wilkinson's return to England duty was remarkable.

The celebrated fly-half was back in the old routine with three first-half penalties and a drop-goal, capping his comeback with a dramatic try on the hour. He appeared to have a foot in touch as he touched down one-handed in the right corner after a searing break from scrum-half Harry Ellis, but the television match official was in benevolent mood. Wilkinson then stroked over the conversion from the touchline and finished with a record 27 points for a Calcutta Cup match.

Jason Robinson also marked his comeback from premature retirement with two tries, but the standing ovation when Wilkinson was replaced seven minutes from time showed Twickenham still in thrall to their legendary number 10.

Now let's have your favourite matches, memories and recommendations...

You can also follow me on Twitter at


  • Comment number 1.

    Excellent article! Even just reading about the 1990 victory gives me goosebumps and send shivers down my spine.

    Six Nations is back, my favourite time of year!

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    really exciting. Scotland have a way of ruining an English party and with this new look squad England have Scotland could really dent these new guys confidence. I'm an English fan but i want to see Scotland really test the new guys and show everyone just how important the Calcutta cup is to these two nations

  • Comment number 4.

    The truth is, that this weekend represents a great occasion for Scotland, their most imprtant game of any calender year, for England, Barbarian fun day aside its the least important. Lets compare fixtures.

    France- a team against the second best European team in World cup rankings in a magnificent city like Paris.

    Wales- the performers of the World cup with a wealth of young talent.

    Ireland- a nation who are on the up in rugby terms at the moment presenting a challenge.

    Italy- A match in Rome against an ever improving team, in the ancient capital of the world, and still a major eclesiastic centre.

    Compare that to Scotland. for england this is in football terms like the premier league footbal clubs third round trip away to a minnow team. In this draw, kind of like Stevenage vs Tottenham. The little club will be passionate, determined, occasionally pull of a suprise. But to the bigger, more successful team, a match they just wantto see the back of and move n to more important things.

  • Comment number 5.

    6 Nations time is the best time of year!!

    For the first time in a while we (England) go in with very little expectations. This will actually mean i get to enjoy the matches (well apart from the Scotland one of course!) instead of getting anxious about our awful kicking or inability to keep ball in hand etc!!

    Very excited with the new lot coming through, don't watch enough games at Sale to know how good the new lot are so very much looking forward to seeing them try and make the step up to international class.

  • Comment number 6.

    As a Scot, a bit disappointed not to see the games from 1982 (Andy Irvine's massive kick to seal a 9-9 draw) and 1986 (Scotland 33 England 6 - our record win in this fixture) there. Speaking of the 86 game. From an England perspective the drama of the 1994 fixture should be there as well (Townsend's drop goal looked to have won it in the last minute only for Jon Callard's penalty in injury time saw Gavin Hastings cry in his post-match interview).
    Speaking of the 1986 game, I can find nearly every other Calcutta Cup game on Youtube except this one. Did someone at the BBC wipe out the footage in a fit of pique?

  • Comment number 7.

    I'm disappointed that matt74's comment has disappeared. Did someone refer it for moderation? It was a little bit provocative but was there to be shot down with a few choice facts. My suspicion is he is only saying it 'to annoy because he knows it teases.'

  • Comment number 8.

    GM Massingbird

    Really? Comparing the Calcutta Cup match to Stevenage vs Tottenham? I fully accept that Scotland have been pretty bad for far longer than I'd care to admit, but are you really suggesting that the Calcutta Cup is of no importance at all to England? Success in rugby comes and goes in cycles, look for example at Wales and Ireland, who you quite rightly say have been very successful recently and lets remember that it is in fact only relatively recently that they have had much in the way of success, prior to this they had some equally barren years - yet I don't see these periods in their rugby history them being referred to as the 'Stevenage Town' of Northern Hemisphere rugby. With this in mind, it is only a matter of time before Scotland begin to improve again and may eventually be serious contenders for the 6 Nations title.

    Just look at some of the highlights shown in the video above, some cracking examples of great rugby being played by both sides.

    Anyway, good blog with some great footage from some classic matches!

  • Comment number 9.

    Ah it's great looking back at the recent history between these two sides.

    Six nations, can't wait, a great time of year!!

  • Comment number 10.

    Blow away all the hype the Scots love to apply to this fixture, and it turns into a game that is generally a poor spectacle.

    For as long as I remember the Scots have been the poorer side, and relied on killing a game, waiting for England to do something wrong, or appalling weather to reduce the gap between the sides.

    England rose in World Rankings because there eyes were on bigger and better prizes.
    Scotland, sadly, will never rise above where they are, because the only real measure they have is the Calcutta Cup. Think small, stay small.

    I find it sad to talk like this, but the other fixtures offer more in terms of quality and measurement on the World stage, and still have a degree of history attached to them.

  • Comment number 11.

    #4 I was giving you the benefit of the doubt with your post at #2 but you have simply confirmed that you are on the wind up. What a fool you look and have also confirmed why England come unstuck against Scotland sometimes .... because they "want to see the back of the game and move on"

    Your assertions of the 90's seem inacurate in calling it a "natural order" as well.

    1990 needs no comment. '91 I belive we ran you close at Twickenham and should have won the world cup semi while we were cheated by an English hand at Murrayfield in '94 and should have won in '99. The only real thrashing came in '97.

    As for your comments about games against the other teams - that's your opinion but i very much doubt the rest of your countrymen would agree. What City you play in will have no relevense to the importance of the game unless you are more interested in sightseeing .... perhaps that's why you don't seem to know what you're talking about?! Italy - seriously, your reason for that being a more important fixture than the Calcutta cup is because Rome is the ancient capital of the world, and still a major eclesiastic centre?!?!?!?!

    Ireland - on the up? Have been over the last 5/6/7 years but plenty would say they are now an ageing team.

    Wales - again they've been hot and cold over the last 7 years but were totally in the doldrums before then.

    France - i'll give you because there is a passion there - they hate you more than some Scots do.

    No - i'm afraid you are either on the wind up (in which case you've got me) or you are truly misguided and have a dislike of the Scots which makes you feel the need to belittle us ...?!

    For what it's worth i love the Calcutta Cup games and yes, they are the game i look forward to most in the rugby calendar and i think Scotland have a very good chance of beating England this weekend. I'll look forward to your comments on Monday if we do win but i suppose you won't care seeing as it's not an important fixture!

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    Could have an alternative worst ever Scotland v England games. Anglo-Scots affairs often have the propensity to be the most dull fixture of the tournament.

  • Comment number 14.



    This is the biggest game of the year for the Scots and the only one they really care about winning. To be honest nearly all games involving Scotland over the last decade have been appalling. They don't score tries and don't really attempt to keep ball in hand.

    For some reason when a team does this the opposition find themselves playing at a similar level and the game is dour. Lets hope this weekend's game is a different story though.

    Scotland have been awful for many a year but maybe seeing Edinburgh in the Heinekan cup quarters for the first time in many years may be the start of a resurgence in Scottish rugby??!!

    I don't follow Scottish rugby so am in no opinion to say whether this Edinburgh form holds any bearing on the national team. I hope it does for a more competitive 6 Nations.

  • Comment number 15.

    Nice article, though it sounds like the concept for this series owes more than a little to the Guardian's long-running "Joy of Six" feature...

  • Comment number 16.

    I've been lucky/unlucky to have been at all of these matches and they're a pretty good selection overall - but how could the great 1986 game be missed out?

    A Scottish pack seemingly made up entirely of club No 8's running rings around our bemused guests at Murrayfield, orchastrated by the gliding genius of John Rutherford. What a night too..........

  • Comment number 17.

    13# the reason that its a poor game, is that England typically play conservative, afraid to lose to a minnow team, saving their best for other fixtures and Scotland just aren't good enough.

    The only games that are good are the ones where England are confident, dominant and totally trounce the Scots.

  • Comment number 18.

    A bit sad to see so many negative comments coming from the England camp, I thought the Scots were the ones with the chip on their shoulders! That is unless the Scottish have got under the Englsih skins and htere are some deep rooted fears about the English getting a trouncing up in Murrayfield!

  • Comment number 19.

    The 1990 win was very sweet for me: the England grand slam winning shirts had already been made, no great surprise there!

  • Comment number 20.

    How about 1994 .Townsend kicked an 80th minute drop goal to take the lead,then in the 82nd minute,Callard kicked a match winning penalty that reduced Gavin Hastings to tears in front of his own crowd.

  • Comment number 21.

    #13 I'd suggest that any game where there is an actual trophy to play for, in any sport, tends not to be the best game. Look at the majority of world cup finals in rugby and football - never great and the Calcutta Cup is a trophy. Perhaps that makes them a more tense affair. As for being the only game we care about winning - how naive of you. There is undoubtedly an extra incentive, as there is when Wales play England, but of course Scotland want to win every game - don't be daft.

    #17 Starting to get a bit boring now.

  • Comment number 22.

    #18 Not really a chip on our arrogant shoulders I'm afraid.

    Just a real assesment of what England v Scotland has been like over the years.

    This years game is probably the one in which Scotland will have the strongest odds to win for quite some time.

    They are fairly settled, have a coach with focus and determination, playing against an untried and new England unit. Scotland should only have a real concern if they find a reinvigorated England, playing for its future, and showing the application Lancaster brougt to the Saxons.

    In real terms this should be a battle for fourth spot, but after this game England will be aiming higher if they win, Scotland will be happy if they beat us and not push on through the 6N afterwards. This game always works best for the Scots if its at the end of the tournament.

  • Comment number 23.

    Saw these comments coming a mile off. Whether they are the genuinely arrogant views of SOME English fans or the overly defensive retorts from the Scots. The simple fact is that England should have dominated for the last 25 years but haven't. That should be a credit to Scotland's graft and should be to England's shame.
    The comments about Scotland being a poor side recently, only focusing on England (who are also poor), England having bigger fish to fry etc are fair and accurate. Being a Scot, I can accept that and wish it weren't so, but in truth it is. However, no fan of either side that I know, would get rid of the fixture (except maybe Massingbird....but I don't actually know him.....sounds like a comedian though) Calcutta cup week

  • Comment number 24.

    #20 Remember it well - think it was Rob Andrews hand in the ruck with his blue cuff that the ref spotted and awarded the penalty - still hurts! No problem with big Gav crying, shows passion.

  • Comment number 25.

    aha not being a particular RU supporter, but interested in the blasts from the past I see the banter and wind ups have commenced from south of the border!!

    the past is the past and we cant change it but the future? - England with an interim coach and an inexperienced squad will be struggling on such an excellent stage for the sport!

  • Comment number 26.

    Thekingsofedinburgh, "England should have dominated for the last 25 years but haven't"

    In the calcutta cup match, how dominant do you need us to be? we must have won between 18-20 of the 25, annhoraks at the ready, not to mention a couple of world cup wins away from HQ.

    Yes, those who say we're reacting to the 'anybody but England' approach that the Scots have more than anybody, far worse than the Welsh or Irish, might just have a point and the Scotts who whinge when they get it back need to grow up or vote for independence.

  • Comment number 27.

    GM Massingbird is talking the biggest load of rubbish I have ever heard, you only have to go to or watch an England vs Scotland game to feel the importance of what is the oldest rugby fixture in rugby history. The fact that recently the games have been somewhat unexciting does not take away from the atmosphere and passion these games create along with the fact that there is a clear narrowing in the gap between the nations. For a nation with little funding and a miniscule player basis to reguarly compete with a nation 12 times it size and with almost double the number of proeffsional players as anyother nation is a feat in itself and as a pourd Scotsman I am maasively excited about attending the up coming contest in the knowledge that win or lose, it is still one of the greatest sporting fixtures in the calndar year

  • Comment number 28.

    i disagree with the idea that this is the only game Scotland care about. Im English and my fiance is Scottish and sure it is a big game for them but her family care as much when Scotland play Wales for example. Some of the daft comments on here kind of make me ashamed to be English.

  • Comment number 29.

    Hancock running miles for late equalising try for England and a 3:3 draw in 1965?

    Peter Brown kicking the late winner for Scotland in about 1971?

  • Comment number 30.

    Great piece. Love this time of year. The 1980 season was the year I finally got my teeth into rugby. That Carlton hat-trick lives long in the memory. Hooked for life. The six nations always give drama, if not spectacle. This might be one of the best England Scotland games since the 1990's, maybe even that 1980 match. Or not. Either way, if September is my favourite time of year, this one comes mighty close and always takes me back to childhood. Come on England.

  • Comment number 31.

    The history of the Calcutta Cup always adds extra spice to a game, that unfortunately doesn't always have the most exciting action on the pitch. Still I love watching this game and dread it when England travel to Scotland. They always seem to raise their game against England, the 2000 result being a prime example.

    In some respects I think it's a shame this is the first game for both sides as I always think it's best to build up to it as it does mean so much to both teams. Still never mind I'm just looking forward to Saturday. Personally think Scotland should win though I for one was glad to see Parks in the team and England have a shot.

  • Comment number 32.

    1990 - Great day. I was in the pipe band on the pitch that day. Hairs standing up on the back of the neck when Scotland the Brave started and David Sole walked the team out. Absolutely no doubt that the Scots meant business that day. I've been to Murrayfield many times and never heard Flower of Scotland sung with as much passion as I did that day.

    Really looking forward to the matches this weekend. You can keep Christmas, 6 Nations really is the best time of the year!

  • Comment number 33.

    Hurray for the best tournament in the world. England Scotland games are always big battles up front and I'm looking forward to another one at the weekend.
    Hoping we give the Scots a good kicking on their home turf - Good luck to all

  • Comment number 34.

    @32 - 1990 was a great day. I remember organising a Grand Slam/Love Shack party with my college flat mates the week before that game. Confident that we (the English) were going to win, we had 20 mates around to watch the game before heading into town and back for the late night party.......That slow walk by Sole and the Scottish team cast its first real doubt in my mind. We'd had Scots, Irish and Welsh friends telling us all week we were going to lose. But thats all part of the fun and banter of the (now) 6 Nations. A deserved and great win.

  • Comment number 35.

    As always these things are biased towards the recent past. What about 1938 when Scotland won a triple crown at Twickenham, watched by my Father funnily enough. Scotland didn't win again at Twickenham until 1971when I went with my brother and we witnessed CWW Rea scoring to the left of the posts and PC Brown converting to give us a 1 point victory. Followed the next week when John Frame scored more or less from the kick off at Maurrayfield in the centenary game.

    I will decline to comment on Mr Massingberd's inflammatory comments as one should not feed the troll

  • Comment number 36.

    Great Article.

    Massingbird - Love it; individuals like you make me appreciate this fixture even more.

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    Not liking this new look website, far too yellow. Looks like something ITV would come up with...

  • Comment number 39.

    Ok, would I sound more diplomatic if I said that the calcutta cup will provide England with a useful warm up for the rest of the tournament?

    And a measure of grattitude is extended for that.

  • Comment number 40.

    The English are worried about this one I think. Otherwise they would be posting about how much of a beating the Scots will get.

    To say that Scotland only play for the Calcutta cup is a lie. Some of our best games in the past few years have been a win in Ireland and an implosion in Wales (one of the most exciting games at that 6N imo).

    I find that Scotland are very good at getting to the opponents 5m line. We just need to find a way to cross the try line when we get there.

  • Comment number 41.

    Sorry, still cant get the thought of the entire Scottish team turning up for the Eng v Aus w/c final.............. all wearing aussie shirts.

    Enough said really

  • Comment number 42.

    Exciting time for English rugby! With a new coach, new captain and new team this will prove to be a tough test of their abilities, but an opportunity to prove what they are worth. I hope for an entertaining open game, however, am fearful of a turgid kicking affair. For Scotland, revenge is in their hearts after the World Cup game.

    I find some of the above posters hilarious. You would think this has been a one sided affair over the past 10 years. We have only won once in Scotland since 2002 and that was in 2004. I feel this will be a close tense affair but a moment of magic from one of England's backs could turn the match in our favour.

    Come on England!!!

  • Comment number 43.

    Have to take mild issue with No. 23 (thekingsofedinburgh), who doesn't feel that England have dominated the fixture for the past 25 years. Since 1987, Scotland have won in 1990, 2000, 2006 and 2008, by my reckoning. They've drawn in 1989 and 2010. The rest, including two World Cup matches, have gone to England. 21 victories to 4. I'm not sure that there is a more lop-sided recent rivalry in 5/6 Nations history, although I expect the Scots to go some way to redressing the balance on Saturday.

  • Comment number 44.

    Scotland should win this week. Lancaster should have kept one or two oldies in the team, as it is a cauldron up at Murrayfield. The young ones have no idea what awaits them. Add in the Scottish Independence issue, and it does not look good for my England. Hope that I am wrong!!

  • Comment number 45.

    Smackeyes your still crowing about 1966, so its hardly any wonder Scots dont want you getting anymore ammunition. Everytime I hear the words 66 I just cringe and characters like you want to supplant it with 2003...

  • Comment number 46.


    Why do people hate it when fans reminisce about a famous victory?? Scotland rightly bring up 1990 as a famous win where as England fans will quite rightly bring up 2003 as a great sporting moment in our history.

    Always bemuses me why it annoys other countries fans??

    As for this Saturday, I'm glad Lancaster isn't keeping any oldies in foer the sake of it. We could get slaughtered up front but what doesn't kill this new lot will most definitely make them stronger.

    2015 should be the only date in any Englishman's mind.

  • Comment number 47.

    I notice that I'm wrong - Ireland's record against France is even worse over the past quarter-century (also just four wins, but no draws to go with them). However, the point still stands - you wouldn't want to bet your last cent on a Scottish win, although they deserve to be favourites at home.

  • Comment number 48.

    Wirral18 I'm not saying don't reminisce about famous victories but theres a time and a place and 66 has been talked about to the point of tedium. Everyone knows exactly what happened and several million could probably provide a rendition of every minute of the game. its like a national version of the pub boor continuously repeating the same past glory everytime you go for a pint.

    Exactly 2015 should be the target, there you said it yourself.

  • Comment number 49.


    I can't see 66 mentioned anywhere on this thread by the way. Anyway '66 was a great year for English football. Cantona was born!!!

  • Comment number 50.

    This is a highlight for any Scotland or England fan. Any England fan who says it isn't (GM Massingbird) is cleary just trying to play it down incase Scotland win on Saturday.

    It's true that every match England play in the six-nations (except Italy) seems to have that big rivalry feel about it but thats only because Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France all want to beat England so much. Why do we all want to beat them so much? Because England are reknowned for their cockyness in the build up, arrogance in victory or their bitterness in defeat. So everyone wants to take them down a peg or two! Why don't the Scots, Welsh, Irish and French care quite so much about beating each other? Because we are all respecful to one another and accept defeat or rejoyce victory in the same good spirit

  • Comment number 51.

    Haha, keep trying Massingbird, no-one is biting!!

  • Comment number 52.

    #37 And you seriously wonder why Scottish fans give you grief with that kind of attitude?!? Is it any wonder that the Scots have a better relationship with the French/Irish/Welsh?
    As for our style of play - i don't suppose you went to "Twicks" when the English pack used to stick the ball up their jumpers in the 80's & 90's then did you? How boring was that? Richards, Teague et all rumbling their way up the park. Rob Andrew dropping & kicking goals. That was as boring as it got.
    Happy to admit the Scots haven't played the most attractive brand of rugby over the last 10-15 years but if you don't have the players with the necessary skills then you aren't going to chuck the ball around. Also Matt Williams basically told our players they weren't good enough and told them to keep it tight so we bored everyone for 2 years. Eventually the players got so sick of it they decided to play some rugby and we were a very entertaining side.
    Let's not get started on where our players are from eh? Tuilagi, Vainakolo (sp), Henry/Robbie Paul and now you seem to have a larger South African contingent than the Springboks!!!
    #42 Good to see a balanced/non-bitter view.

  • Comment number 53.

    girthy exactly and to the smackeyes of this world at 41. who cant understand why a Welshman for example will not bow down to English superiority and support them in a final against Australia. To this I say there have been more Welsh born pime ministers of Australia and Welsh presidents of the USA than there have been prime ministers of the UK. Which says all you need to know really...

  • Comment number 54.

    Well there have been many memorable matches. Even when the rugby has been of a low standard it is the rivalry between England and Scotland which makes them compelling and this can be said of all the countries in the Six N, which in my view makes the tournament the best in the world.

    Shame on those people who are suggesting that the Calcutta Cup match is an inferior fixture. Just ask the players on both sides whether the match matters. Scotland raising their game to often match and sometimes beat what should normally be a superior opponent with guile, skill and spirit is something to be truly admired. As an England supporter I can painfully remember several times when so called superior England teams have been sent packing. After the appalling attitude shown by some of the England players in the WC, the team needs to restore some pride, passion and commitment.

    I just wish that irrelevant centuries old, frequently inaccurate history was left out of it. I may be proud to be both English and British but I really have nothing in common with the likes of Edward I or the Duke of Cumberland who seem to be wheeled out at these times. Let's keep up the fascinating rivalry but maintain a true sense of perspective. May the best team on the day win!

  • Comment number 55.

    its not the English we dislike its the Englishness...check some of the above posts for details

  • Comment number 56.

    Best Scotland v England games in the 70's were 1971 and 1974.
    In the 1980's what about 1984 and 1986.

    Everyone seems to have forgotten about the war of brute strength and defence called 2006 although not spectacular enthalling.

    Worst Scotland/ England game has to be 1988- shocking

  • Comment number 57.

    It has to be 1990 and I am an Englishman.

    I remember watching the match wearing my England 1990 Grand Slam Shirt with the befief that we (England) would be victorious. The game was frantic and rivalries all over the park came to the fore, none more than the battle between Jeff Probyn and David Sole. The Calcutta Cup is played in the greatest of spirits with the victor always knowing that they have been in a battle. I remember a story about Dean Richards and Finlay Caulder (or possibly John Jeffries) passing the Calcutta Cup between them and it getting damaged whilst on a night out.

    The game brings out everything that rugby is about. I just hope that in these days of the modern professional era and bloated egos that the rivalry and friendship remains.

  • Comment number 58.

    I thought you weren't biting? Ha!

  • Comment number 59.

    just chewing

  • Comment number 60.

    How I miss the great Bill McClaren

  • Comment number 61.

    I don`t know why you say that playing Scotland is a highlight for every fan. The only reason it is a highlight for me is because it is the next International fixture.The next game is always a highlight regardless who England play.

  • Comment number 62.

    Further to points made about the importance of this fixture.

    It is a big game for England, but then again what International isn't. However its importance has diminished over the years as more games are played against the SH teams and the RWC has become such a huge competition.

    England have set their horizons towards this new world picture of rugby,

    Scotland have failed to rise to this new level of ambition, seeming to have levels of aspiration of Italy rather than those of Wales Ireland and England who look beyond historical and meaningless rivalry. They don't seem to see beating England as a means of progression, but as inflicting a bloody nose for some long gone wrongs.

    When other games come along in this series, there will be better games, and better memories, thats just how it is, and in most of them England will have been on the wrong end of them!

    My own abiding memory is seeing Callard kick the panalty in 1990 whilst in Linlithgow Rugby Club. Stood next to a club member, we looked at each other, shrugged, and proceeded to get each other completely trolleyed during the rest of the day.

  • Comment number 63.

    55. At 17:10 1st Feb 2012, Watts wrote:
    It is the English... Sooner you lot get "your" country back the better! maybe you can have special brew and Super T as currency!

  • Comment number 64.

    As an England fan the 1990 game is seared on my brain. I was 8 years old and young and stupid enough to apply logic to the fixture - i.e. England was a bigger country with more people so had to win, surely? But, young as I was even then I recognised that the Scottish pack wanted nothing more than to rip the flesh from the bones of their opposite numbers. Let's not forget that this was the English team that went on to win back to back grand slams in '91 and '92, and they looked at times like rabbits caught in the headlights of what was an awesome Scottish performance. Definitely the best Calcutta match I've ever had the pleasure to witness.

    As to the significance of this match, I like many on this site have witnessed some pretty drab encounters down the years but that certainly doesn't dampen my enthusiasm for the fixture. Every time England goes up against another home nation it's a match worth watching. Even against the tri-nations there are times that I get the impression that the professionalism of the players gets in the way of their passion for the game, their spirit and determination, and their sense of the occasion - with the result that they start playing a little like rugby robots. But I never (or hardly ever) see that against the home nations - and of course a huge amount of that is to do with the passion and intensity that all of the home nations bring to any match against England. So you may not always get running rugby and silky hands - it's pretty hard to expect any team to play like that in February in Scotland (or England for that matter) - but most of the time you can rest assured that you won't be accusing your team of not being committed to the cause.

    Add to that the banter you get with the great Scottish fans - those you've met before and those sitting behind you in the Murrayfield stands, or standing next to you in the pub - and it's always a great fixture to watch.


  • Comment number 65.

    Hard to argue with the selection of matches, a good blend of the best performances from both sides of the border.

    This is possibly my favourite time of year, there's something to love about every 6 Nations fixture for you team.
    The 5pm kick off for Saturday will just add to it. The SRU are superb at using a sunset kick-off to best advantage.
    A spot-lit piper on the stadium roof, Braveheart painted flaming torch wielding barbarians to welcome the boys in white onto the pitch.
    This year it'll be a special occasion as we say farewell to Chris Paterson's Scotland career, and I think he'll get a warm and respectful reception from fans on both sides.

    The ground will be crackling with emotion and electricity and I simply cannot wait for it!

  • Comment number 66.

    Good banter and good comments on here with a couple of twerps trying to ruin it.

    A few comments i'd like to address. The fact that Scotland only ever focus on the England game is a nonsense, in fact it has infuriated me the importance we've placed on games against Italy purely so that we can avoid the wooden spoon. The England game takes care of itself but successive Scottish coaches have always had an eye on the Italians imo.

    The accusation that Scotland have played dull rugby is true, but then England have been just as bad and memories of Teague and Richards with the ball up their jerseys is as fresh as an obstinate Scottish pack playing an up your jumper narrow game. Both countries have been involved in some exciting games over the past few seasons, so both are more than capable of playing free-flowing rugby but something about the occasion seems to stilt the game. I guess neither wants to lose to their historical rivals.

    As for the poster who says that he hasn't been to Murrayfield as the Scots fans are too aggressive, i can comment as a Scot who has watched a Calcutta cup match at Twickenham and been subjected to abuse (not banter).

    Hopefully the atmosphere on Saturday is good natured but ferocious, the rugby is hopefully more watchable than it has been and the English dry spell at Murrayfield continues.

  • Comment number 67.


    Also still remember the great white shark (burk) on rugby special years ago.His dog barks at English reporter. Dont worry says Jeffries,he just hates the English.

    Yes we know the Celts hate the English..............Yawn

  • Comment number 68.

    Mr Massingberd is I sense just trying to stir up trouble. The reality is that the England-Scotland fixture is always a big one for the English, and it self-evidently is for the Scots too. All the Six Nations fixtures have enormous history behind them and for that reason I always look forward to each of them in its own right. The exception is obviously the Italy game, but that is gradually building its own history, and within a few seasons, when Italy have recorded victories against all their Six Nations opponents, it will become a fully-fledged rivalry.

    England-Scotland... I actually think the World Cup match last year ranks relatively highly - it wasn't played to the highest standard, but in terms of tension and excitement few games in recent years can match it. England played great rugby in the win at Murrayfield in 2002, and as noted matches at Murrayfield in the last few years have tended to be very close affairs (although quite often boring ones, if truth be told).

    England have a new team and a new coach, and realistically - I think - we will probably lose 2 or 3 games in this championship. As long as we start to play rugby the right way and show significant improvement throughout the tournament, I will be able to accept that. I sincerely hope that Lancaster proves himself worthy of the job on a permanent basis - this will minimise disruption and avoid bringing a big-name coach in from whom big things are expected immediately.

  • Comment number 69.

    Massingbird, swindonbluearmy and smackeyes... makes you proud to be English.
    Intelligent, inciteful and very, very interesting.
    Thank God that the even more intelligent, more inciteful and non-xenophobic comments attached to this blog are in the majority. A little humour goes a long way, and that is a big part (maybe the biggest part for the fans) of this ancient fixture.
    Let's hope for a passionate, skilful and high-quality match this Saturday to join the passionate games in Calcutta Cup history.
    May the better team win.

  • Comment number 70.

    CymruLondoner @ 53 - I could pick up on any number of "points" in your tedious anti-English screeds, but the idea of Welsh presidents of the USA made me chuckle. Which presidents of the USA would that be then?

  • Comment number 71.

    I am old enough to remember the 1971 season. Two wins over England within a week- one the Calcutta Cup proper followed by the centenary match at Murrayfield. I didnt go to the Twickenham game (Chris Rea's last minute try would have been worth the journey) but I do remember the spine tingling roar that went up when Frame fell over the line with about four Englishman hanging on to him in what must be one of the fastest tries scored against England. The most enjoyable game I have ever attended, 26-6. Five tries to none!

  • Comment number 72.


    "Massingbird, swindonbluearmy and smackeyes... makes you proud to be English.
    Intelligent, inciteful and very, very interesting."

    With all due respect, i believe you forgot to put "factual" i.e these events took place. Therefore how is it that it is me who is xenephobic?

  • Comment number 73.

    #19 why bring up Grand Slam T-shirts, it happens all the time. Grand Slam T-shirts were openly on sale in Cardiff the year they lost a grand slam decider to France in the 80s, and earlier this week the Scottish were selling Calcutta Cup winning T-shirts.
    People read far too much into a simple business decision, the potential benefits of having T-Shirts on sale straight after the event almost certainly outweighs the cost of binning the shirts if the result goes the wrong way - particularly if you filter in the odds of the favourite winning and the fact that you can still sell them to the opposition if it goes wrong.

  • Comment number 74.

    "13. At 11:59 1st Feb 2012, CymruLondoner wrote:
    Could have an alternative worst ever Scotland v England games. Anglo-Scots affairs often have the propensity to be the most dull fixture of the tournament."

    True the rugby is not always great, but for both teams it is by far the biggest rivalry in the 6N. Perhaps less so with Scotland going through a bit of a slump, but hopefully they will get back to being a real force. NH rugby needs a strong Scottish side, and it makes it even more fun if we beat them.

  • Comment number 75.

    I've always felt that the advantage of being an English fan is that most other countries hate us and therefore up the ante.... although it means that we never have an easy game, especially against home nations, it does make for 80 minutes of nail biting worry every match!
    So England are used to the pressure that comes with these fixtures, but this year it would seem the pressure is on Scotland since there are no expectations on an largely uncapped England squad.
    So bring it on ya weee Scots :) we might lose but I'm looking forward to a cracking game and lots of banter with my Scottish rivals (I would say friends but every year we become very impolite for around 80 minutes!!)

  • Comment number 76.

    OK, so perhaps you're not old enough to remember 1974 when Andy Irvine won the game with the last kick of the ball, but I was part of the record crowd that year. Great game, great atmosphere.

  • Comment number 77.

    "Sooner you lot get "your" country back the better! maybe you can have special brew and Super T as currency!"

    It would be Buckfast ya clown!!

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    I love how Scottish fans see this is their world cup final! They have little ambition (understandably) of reaching greater heights than beating an English team! What pains me more is how English teams get drawn into this and therefore become so afraid of losing that they become afraid of playing!
    No doubt both sides seem to play poor rugby in this fixture which has led to it being the game with the least quality in terms of rugby and being very boring affairs. I see this changing this year and i believe England will win, but i think it will happen because young players in the England team will try and play in a more free and open way and lead to and English victory!!!

  • Comment number 80.

    I think people are missing the bigger picture here. The history of this fixture aside, the Heineken Cup has shown that the Scotland players have moved up a level and have looked good with ball in hand.

    With England trying to relaunch themselves, this fixture could well be more of a level playing field than past years - I can see the Scots playing a lot more rugby with ball in hand and the English being the more conservative of the teams.

    IMHO this fixture could show who has the upperhand out of these two sides for the next couple of years...

  • Comment number 81.

    England - Scotland is always a great atmosphere, the technical quality of the game is usually pretty bad though.

    Anyway last year Scotland overall were a massive disappointment. I had thought that 2010 was turning point and 2011 would see Scotland making massive strides forward, in fact they went dramatically backwards. What 2012 will bring who knows but they have the best balance in the forwards of all the home nations (not sure about scummaging, might be an issue against France and Italy) and by some distance the most feeble (in try scoring terms) set of backs in the 6N. What I hope from the 6N is that Scotland learn how to use their backs.

    England new coach, new players - new methods?? Last year England were reasonably efficient but uninspired and seemed unable to cope when real passion and pace was applied in the forwards. There are 3 key issues for me. (1) the second row. Line outs will be good (not difficult given England have 4 target jumpers), but will the locks have the power in the scrum to allow England front row an edge and will locks have both pace and power to deliver quick break downs (or even dominate!), the loss of Lawes is a big one (2) the back row. The RWC saw the glorious rebirth of the traditional nose to ground open side, sure the top performers are a bit bigger and more powerful than in days of yore (more of a 6.5 than a traditional 6) - I blame Richard Hill for showing what could be in 2000-2005. And in the current England team we have no such player. Croft can do a decent job there but he is not an openside. For England to really compete or even dominate the breakdown they need both Robshaw and Croft to arrive together as a tag team at the breakdown. (3) Quick ball. Henry got it right. Over the last few years England players arrive at breakdown and stop to secure ball, NZ play for the space beyond the ball.

    As far as Saturday's match is concerned too close to call. Could easily see England either folding under Scottish passion at breakdown or England running away with it. Scotland performance is more predictable, just hoping for better than last year.

    Prediction for 6N

    France win but no grand slam
    Wales beat Ireland, get overpowered by both England and France, struggle against Italy and edge a high scoring game against Scotland
    Ireland play the best rugby, beat England, Scotland and Italy, lose a close on to France and manage to find a way to lose agaisnt Wales (again!)
    England beat France in a macho man contest, stuff Wales in the forwards (especially line out), cruise against Italy (cue Newspaper over reaction), lose to Irish passion and against Scotland no idea - close win for England would be my bet, but in a bad game.
    Scotland - wooden spoon time due to inability to score tries. Have no chance against France (again), Ireland will beat them by 10-14 points, Italy is too close to call, England is a good chance of victory and Wales will beat them but in a close high scoring game when Scotland will miss chances.
    Italy looking forward to another season of improvement. They will fancy their chances against both Scotland and Wales (especially at scrum time) and last year showed that no team can underestimate them.

  • Comment number 82.

    Justin150, very inciteful, just glad I closed my on line bookie account, cos I might be tempted.

  • Comment number 83.

    Interesting how readers were asked to comment on which Calcutta cup matches were the best but it soon degenerated into xenophobic rant. Lets hope the rugby matches are a higher standard

  • Comment number 84.

    I think Scotland are going to be a totally different beast this weekend from the previous dirge we have been subjected. I'm predicting a high scoring affair in the Scots favour, with the home side running in three unanswered tries late in the second half. Scotland to win 33-19.

  • Comment number 85.

    #84 I think the selection at 10 tells you everything about how Scotland will line up. Dan Parks has turned a talented Cardiff Backline into a side struggling for tries, hard to imagine him leading a Scottish try fest on Saturday.
    Much the same as when he was the England coach, Robinson will put out an excellent pack and a sterile backline.

  • Comment number 86.

    #84 being a borders lad (but South of line not north) that would be painful.

    But why do you think Scotland will be better than last year, what has changed? Is it England to be that bad or will Scotland be a try scoring machine all way through 6N.

  • Comment number 87.

    Scotland`s club teams are on fire. England are playing a new squad. All the trappings for an upset. Scotland to win, Ireland to win, france to win ...A great treble


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