Retaining Calcutta Cup would put Scots in exalted company
Scotland will this Saturday aim to lift the Calcutta Cup for the third time in a row, a feat not achieved north of the border since the early 1970s.
That prospect is on offer this Saturday, as the hosts aim follow the home win of 2018 and dramatic 2019 comeback draw at Twickenham Stadium – which saw John Barclay and Stuart McInally lift the trophy each time – with a win this weekend.
Some 50 years ago, under the captaincy of Frank Laidlaw (1970) and Peter ‘PC’ Brown (1971 and 1972), Scotland beat England twice at Murrayfield and once at Twickenham.
The hit film in the US at the time was The Godfather, with Brown, a doyen of the sport, playing the role admirably by helping himself to two tries, three conversions and five penalties across the three games – all from number 8.
In fact, the Scots enjoyed four straight wins in the fixture during those years, as they again defeated their opponents in an RFU Centenary match at Murrayfield a week after their 1971 Calcutta Cup triumph, Brown at the forefront once more with a try and penalty for good measure.
The last time Scotland had the opportunity to lift the Calcutta Cup on three consecutive occasions was in 1985, after the 1983 home success and the Grand Slam of 1984.
That chance slipped them by, however, as they went down to Twickenham and were subject to a narrow 10-7 defeat, with stand-off Rob Andrew separating the sides with a penalty.
Scotland went on to beat the Auld Enemy 33-6 at Murrayfield a year later in 1986 – a record that still stands – but the chance to go three-in-a-row passed them by.
And so, to the present day, with England visiting BT Murrayfield tomorrow afternoon.
Head Coach Gregor Townsend’s first Six Nations in charge saw the side end a ten-year wait for the trophy in 2018, before last year’s retention by virtue of that incredible 38-38 Twickenham draw.
Should his charges manage the cup for the second time, and in the process match the feat of that PC Brown’s side, they will join an illustrious Scottish rugby band of brothers.