Scotland seek rare Twickenham triumph

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 10:17
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Scotland will go in search of just their fifth win in more than a hundred years of playing England at Twickenham.

Scotland meet their oldest rivals for a Six Nations match in the southwest London suburb on Saturday.

England and Scotland first played at Edinburgh's Raeburn Place in Rugby Union's inaugural international match back in 1871.

After various venues had been used 'south of the border', including The Oval cricket ground, England's Rugby Football Union realised the benefit of owning their own stadium and bought up land on what had been a cabbage patch at Twickenham in 1907, with Scotland's first game there in 1911.

Scotland have managed just four wins in 47 Twickenham fixtures against the 'auld enemy, with England victorious in 38 and five drawn.

You have to go back to March 5 1983 - when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' top of the British singles chart - for Scotland's last win at Twickenham, a 22-12 success.

For many members of the current Scotland squad, Twickenham was also the venue for their heart-breaking 2015 World Cup quarterfinal defeat by Australia.

The Scots had a famous victory in their grasp but, after what World Rugby later admitted was an incorrect decision by South African referee Craig Joubert, were denied by Bernard Foley's last-minute penalty as they suffered an agonising 35-34 loss.

However, with Scotland having already beaten Ireland and Wales this season, they have high hopes of ending their 34-year wait for a Twickenham triumph.

They also have the extra incentive of knowing that denying England a win on Saturday would prevent Eddie Jones's men from equalling world champions New Zealand's tier-one record of 18 successive Test wins.

Scotland's wins against England at Twickenham:

1926: England 9 Scotland 17

Scotland's first victory at Twickenham was sealed by better kicking.

Both teams scored three tries apiece, albeit the visitors were 14-3 ahead at half-time, with legendary Scotland wing Ian Smith crossing twice.

But England were unable to convert any of their scores whereas Scotland fly-half Herbert Waddell, who scored his side's other try, landed two conversions.

Scotland centre Jimmy Dykes kicked a drop-goal, then worth four points compared to today's three, in an era where teams received just three points for a try.  

1938: England 16 Scotland 21

The first televised fixture, albeit no more than a few thousands viewers in and around London saw the small black and white picture, became known as 'Wilson Shaw's match' in honour of the Scotland captain.

Scotland outscored England five tries to one, crossing four times in the first half alone. But at a time when a try and a penalty goal were both worth three points, England stayed in touch.

Fly-half Shaw set up Scotland's first try and scored their second with a superb solo run before, with just two minutes left, his weaving sprint saw him evade several England defenders on his way to another brilliant individual try.

1971: England 15 Scotland 16

The centenary fixture between the two countries saw Scotland come from 15-8 behind with just nine minutes left. A fine try by centre Chris Rea gave Scotland hope at 14-15, although it still needed a conversion from captain Peter Brown, a goal- kicking No 8, to complete the comeback.

1983: England 12 Scotland 22

Scotland had suffered three defeats in that season's then Five Nations when they arrived at Twickenham but got to half-time level at 9-9 in a tryless first half.

They pulled clear after the break, however, thanks to two converted tries, one from scrum-half Roy Laidlaw, another from debutant lock Tom Smith, with Keith Robertson also adding a drop-goal.

Head-to-head record between England and Scotland at Twickenham:
Played: 47
England wins: 38
Scotland wins: four
Drawn: five

England v Scotland overall record:
Played: 134
England wins: 74
Scotland wins: 42
Drawn: 18

Agence France-Presse

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Sat, 25 March 2017
Brumbies v Highlanders 13 | 18
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Fri, 24 March 2017
Bristol v Gloucester 14 | 32
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SIX NATIONS
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Team P W D L Pts
England 5 4 0 1 19
Ireland 5 3 0 2 14
France 5 3 0 2 14
Scotland 5 3 0 2 14
Wales 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 0