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Scotland vs England: Six memorable Murrayfield clashes

05 February 2014

  • Relive six classic Calcutta Cup contests at Murrayfield
  • England and Scotland look to secure first win of 2014 RBS 6 Nations
Gavin Hastings of Scotland shows his disappointment after missing a penalty

Photo: Getty Images

England have faced their Auld Enemy a total of 43 times at Edinburgh’s iconic stadium, winning just 18 times to Scotland’s 21. As always, the atmosphere promises to be intense and tribal as Stuart Lancaster seeks a win to get his RBS 6 Nations campaign back on track. Here are six Calcutta Cup clashes from down the years to whet the appetite for Saturday.

Scotland 6 England 9, October 26, 1991

A Rugby World Cup semi-final, this match added an extra edge of tension to the perennially hostile rivalry between these two sides. With that in mind, it was somewhat unsurprising that a tryless, anxious encounter was produced.

Two penalties from full back Jon Webb to complement Rob Andrew’s drop-goal were eventually enough to see England into the final, but while Gavin Hastings landed a pair-of three-pointers himself to keep Scotland in touch, his converted kicks are no longer remembered. Instead, a glaring miss from close to the posts with just 15 minutes to go and the scores level is what sadly sticks in the mind.

Scotland 19 England 13, April 2, 2000

A rain-drenched Murrayfield was supposed to be the scene for England to complete a Grand Slam and celebrate the inaugural Six Nations with their first clean-sweep in five years. However, nobody told Duncan Hodge about those plans.

The fly half – helped by a simply ferocious effort from his forwards – recorded all of Scotland’s points, sliding over for a close-range try late on to save Ian McGeechan’s team from the wooden spoon. Lawrence Dallaglio charged over for the visitors and Jonny Wilkinson added eight points, but that was not enough to prevent a stumble at the final hurdle.

Scotland 3 England 29, February 2, 2002

Will Greenwood carries

Photo: Getty Images

Perhaps still smarting from their setback two years previously, Clive Woodward’s charges romped to a record margin of victory at this venue – a brace of tries from Jason Robinson adding to further scores by Mike Tindall and Ben Cohen.

Though defeat at the Stade de France a fortnight later again denied England a Grand Slam, this was a dominant performance that could have ended with an even more comprehensive scoreline, especially after Robinson’s double had opened up a 12-0 lead inside the opening 15 minutes. In contrast to his dream game in 2000, Hodge missed a spate of chances to close the gap from the tee.

Scotland 18 England 12, February 25, 2006

More damp conditions descended on Edinburgh prior to this episode of the Calcutta Cup, and while that should have suited England’s pack – almost a stone a man heavier than their opponents – Andy Robinson’s side were thoroughly out-worked.

Despite that, England found themselves 12-9 up at the end of the third quarter thanks to a trio of Charlie Hodgson penalties, and could have been further ahead but for a fumble from Cohen with the line in touching distance. Sucked into a dogfight with the likes of Jason White and Ally Hogg, the visitors slipped away and were eventually sunk by Chris Paterson’s unerring boot.

Scotland 15 England 15, March 13, 2010

A draw was enough for England to retain the Calcutta Cup but huge frustration was the overwhelming feeling after an 80 minutes of missed chances and poor decision-making allowed Scotland to record a draw on the back of four penalties and a drop-goal from Dan Parks.

Richie Gray carries

Photo: Getty Images

In fact it was the hosts that enjoyed the majority of territory and possession, though – like their opponents – they lacked enough of a cutting edge in attack to force a try. Toby Flood had two opportunities to snatch a victory that would have been extremely cruel for Scotland, but one late penalty fell short and another drop-goal attempt was charged down by Rory Lawson. Amid a frantic final quarter, Ben Youngs took the field in place of wing Ugo Monye to win his maiden Test cap.

Scotland 6 England 13, February 2, 2012

Lancaster’s first match in charge was greeted by an understandably intimidating Murrayfield, but the former Leeds boss escaped back over the border with a tight win thanks to a charge-down try from fly half Charlie Hodgson and eight points from unflappable debutant Owen Farrell.

Scotland threatened to extend England’s win-drought beyond eight years, Greig Laidlaw being denied a score by the television match official and Ross Rennie failing to find the vital pass following a fine line-break. Demonstrating admirable bloody-mindedness in the final stages though, Chris Robshaw’s cohorts hung on.