The Romans built Hadrian’s wall back in 122AD, and the English and Scottish have been rivals ever since. Thankfully, though, they are no longer killing each other, so the only place that they can express their rivalry is out on a sports field. When it comes to rugby, the English and the Scottish have been battling it out for 150 years to claim the Calcutta Cup, which is the oldest trophy in the sport. It goes without saying that there have been some cracking encounters between the two sides throughout the decades and below we are going to have a look at five of the most epic Calcutta Cup battles.
England v Scotland Rugby Betting
Rugby fans across England and Scotland love watching their team beat their fierce rival, but there is one thing that makes it even better for them and that is when they win a bet as well. Rugby matches between England and Scotland are always entertaining for the fans of these countries, but thanks to these rugby betting sites the entertainment levels can be notched up a gear.
Rugby has become an extremely popular sport for sports betting fans to bet on because there are so many different markets that fans can put their money on. For example, you can bet on the team that will win the game or tournament, you can bet on how many points will be scored in total, you can try and predict what team will score the first try or points, you can guess what player will score first and so on.
When you are betting on an England v Scotland match, you will often find that England are the clear favourites to win. This means that if you were to put your money on an England win, you would end up with just a small amount of profit. Likewise, if you put your money on a Scotland win there is a chance to win a large profit, but you also have a high chance of losing your bet. In such scenarios, you should consider handicap betting – you will be able to give England a disadvantage to boost their odds or give Scotland an advantage to lower their odds, but increase your chances of being a winner.
1879: Scotland 1 England 1
The very first meeting on the rugby field between these two teams happened in 1871, but the first Calcutta Cup match was not played in 1879. Despite what the score line says, they were not playing football instead of rugby. This really was the score in the first Calcutta Cup game ever played thanks to a strange points system.
The match was played at Raeburn Place, which is in Edinburgh, and dotting the ball down behind your opponent’s line would not give you five points as it does today, but it gave the chance to score a goal which was worth a point. So, the very first Calcutta Cup game between England and Scotland finished in a draw and nobody claimed the trophy. The following year, the match was played at Whalley Range in Manchester, and England won 2-1 to claim the trophy.
1890: Scotland 18 England 30
This was one of England’s best wins against their fierce rivals in the 20th century. John Carlton, who was a fantastic winger who never got the plaudits that he deserved, scored a great hat-trick, but it was Bill Beaumont, their captain, who got the adulation and was taken off the field on the shoulders of his teammates.
This was a historic win for England and it mostly came about thanks to the dominance of Beaumont and the rest of the pack. This win saw England win the Grand Slam, which was the first time that they had done so in 23 years. With this majestic win at Murrayfield, England lifted the Calcutta Cup, won the Triple Crown, and picked up the 5 Nations Championship title. What an epic game.
1988: Scotland 6 England 9
There were no tries scored in this game – Rob Andrew earned the points for England with a drop-goal. Therefore, you are probably sitting there thinking that it is weird that we included this match in an article about the best Calcutta Cup matches/ However, this match is not known for what happened on the field. This match happened before rugby turned professional, so when the English players went to the bar for a celebratory drink after the game and found that the Scots had drunk all the whisky, they decided that they needed to catch up and quickly.
As you can probably guess, chaos ensued and at one point John Jeffrey and Dean Richards filled the trophy with champagne and then threw it in Brian Moore’s face. After a night out that would not look out of place in The Hangover, the trophy was damaged and the rugby officials were so annoyed that they banned Jeffrey for six months, while Richards got a one match ban. It is because of this night that players can no longer hold the original trophy.
2000: Scotland 19 England 13
In the year 2000, Scotland were trying to defend their 5 Nations crown, but they lost four games from four and their fifth game was against an England side that were looking for the Grand Slam. This was the first 6 Nations tournament and many would have put money on England going to Murrayfield and winning with ease. However, torrential rain and an inspired Scottish team denied them their dreams.
The match itself was a brutal and scrappy affair, which was highlighted by Duncan Hodge’s vital try. The Scottish got a driving maul going from a lineout and there was nothing that the English players could do to keep the Scottish juggernaut at bay. The great Jonny Wilkinson kept his team within striking distance from the kicking tee, but the Scots held on for the win. England still won the 6 Nations, but the dressing room was so silent after that you would be forgiven for thinking that this was not the case. Scotland and their fans, despite having a rubbish tournament, celebrated long into the night.
2019: England 38 Scotland 38
The last match that we are going to take a look at is a recent classic. The Scottish headed to Twickenham hoping to win their first game at the home of rugby since 1983. Now, they might not have walked away with a victory, but they definitely would have felt that they won as they got to keep the Calcutta Cup. This was the first time they had managed to retain it in 35 years.
Wales had won the Grand Slam hours earlier, so the only thing that was riding on this match was pride. England looked like they were going to utterly humiliate the Scots as they raced into a 31-0 lead and went in at the half-time break with a 31-7 lead over their bitter rivals. However, a completely different Scottish team came out for the second half and produced a comeback that nobody would have expected. Darcy Graham scored two tries, Finn Russel and Magnus Bradbury scored one try each to give Scotland an unbelievable 38-31 lead.
They were seconds away from a heroic victory when George Ford popped up with a try to help England save their blushes. This game really was one that had everything, and you will struggle to come across a better game between these two old rivals.