Six Nations 2019: Scotland's 36 years of pain against England at Twickenham

By Jamie LyallBBC Scotland
Six Nations 2019: England v Scotland
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 16 March Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Scotland, plus live text commentary on BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app

None of the current Scotland side were alive when the national team last beat England at Twickenham in 1983. Head coach Gregor Townsend had not long turned 10.

Thirty-six years. Sixteen defeats and one draw. This hideous Calcutta Cup run shows no sign of abating.

Scotland have endured a barren and injury-hit Six Nations, with one win from their four games, and make the trip south to face an England side for whom a win might secure the championship.

Two years ago - and in much better form - Scotland arrived in London with buoyant spirits but suffered a 61-21 pummelling.

Can Townsend's embattled troops stem the tide? Or will their Twickenham torment continue? Here are some of the most grievous moments in Scotland's 36 years of pain.

Paxton fumbles at the last - 1985

You have to go back over a century, to a time when the Six Nations was the four-team Home Championship, to find Scotland's last back-to-back wins over England south of the border. They triumphed in 1907 and 1909 at the Rectory Field, then the Athletic Ground.

The Scots came within inches of a second successive Calcutta Cup triumph in London in 1985, but in the dying minutes, Iain Paxton was stripped of the ball as he looked to finish a bonkers attacking move.

Drab draw - 1989

There was another near miss for Scotland four years later. They led England 12-6 but were pegged back for a 12-12 draw.

Barnes bamboozles Scotland - 1993

Iain Morrison's eyes must have lit up when England fly-half Stuart Barnes was put under pressure by a wild high pass from his half-back partner. Morrison seared towards Barnes and his exposed rib cage, savouring the almighty clattering he was about to inflict. But Barnes had other ideas. With a marvellous step, he took off like a rocket from a standing start, accelerating away to ignite a glorious move that ended with Rory Underwood racing home.

Wright's rucking - 1995

A Grand Slam decider. Another defeat. And a dubious honour for BBC Scotland pundit Peter Wright. The prop became the first Scotland player to be shown a yellow card after subjecting England captain Will Carling to the doormat treatment at a ruck. Wright was braced for a tongue-lashing from rucking enthusiast Jim Telfer after the game - but was instead complimented on his breakdown technique by the coach.

Scotland's Gregor Townsend is tackled by Rob Andrew of England
Current coach Gregor Townsend could not guide Scotland to a Grand Slam in 1995

Beal breaks Scotland - 1999

This game was a cracker. Two teams with designs on the final Five Nations title. A wonderful double from Alan Tait. Scotland were undone, though, by Nick Beal's try, the full-back cantering through several defenders en route to a 67th-minute score that left the Scots facing a 10-point deficit they could not overturn, despite Townsend's breakaway score.

Three measly points - 2001

This was one of the worst humiliations. Scotland beat England on the final day of the 2000 championship to avoid the Wooden Spoon and - perhaps more enjoyably - derail their rivals' Grand Slam bid at the final hurdle. But England got their revenge and reclaimed the Calcutta Cup a year later - and how. Six tries and 43 points. All Scotland mustered was a Duncan Hodge penalty.

Taylor sees yellow - 2003

As he hared after a garryowen, Simon Taylor levelled England full-back Josh Lewsey, who was waiting to catch the plummeting ball. That resulted in an entirely deserved yellow card and sent Scotland sliding towards another shellacking, losing 40-9.

Noon treble - 2005

More dreadful defending by Scotland, who shipped 40 points at Twickenham again. Jamie Noon ran in three tries amid some truly slapstick tackling.

Wilkinson wallops Scotland - 2007

Jonny Wilkinson scores a try for England against Scotland in 2007
Jonny Wilkinson racked up 27 points against Scotland in 2007

This marked Jonny Wilkinson's first England game since his World Cup final heroics four years earlier as he returned from the latest of a spate of injuries. Quite a comeback it was, too. Wilkinson scored 27 of England's 42 points, including a delightful try - even if his right boot was in touch as he stretched to ground the ball.

Wasteful England still too good - 2015

Scotland put up better fights in 2009, 2011 and 2013 but were never able to block the English chariot's path to the trophy. In 2015, they actually led at half-time and kept pace with wasteful England until Jack Nowell's late try put the game to bed.

Joseph runs riot - 2017

Having scored in the 2015 fixture, Jonathan Joseph exploited some comical Scottish defence after the visitors lost Fraser Brown to the sin-bin and Stuart Hogg to an injury, before his replacement Mark Bennett was carted off. England dished out the mother of all Calcutta Cup tankings, scoring 61 points - a record in the fixture - and equalling their 2001 winning margin of 40. Ouch.


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