The Calcutta Cup takes place on Saturday with England travelling to Murrayfield

The Calcutta Cup, contested by England and Scotland, is the oldest fixture in international rugby and has had more than its share of dramatic moments over the years. 

From tunnel scraps to epic comebacks, the fixture has had it all, so what are some of the most memorable Calcutta Cup moments from down the years, in the Six Nations era and before?

Related: England Six Nations squad

Record win for the Scots

Starting in 1986, we begin with Scotland’s record 33-6 victory at Murrayfield in the Five Nations. 

Having finished bottom of the table the season before, Scotland could not have expected to pull off such a big margin of victory, especially when at half-time they led by just six points. 

However, they came out of the dressing room a team transformed and ran in three converted tries to run away with the game and the trophy. 

The Calcutta Cup grudge

Murrayfield once again played host to a classic Calcutta Cup moment in 1990, in a fixture that extended off the field. 

The match was played in the context of Margaret Thatcher’s massively unpopular introduction of the Poll Tax in Scotland. 

Not only that, but both teams were unbeaten in the tournament and went into the game chasing a Grand Slam and the title. 

Surrounded by the off-field context, the two sides delivered an intensely physical game, with both taking a battering, but ultimately Scotland finished 13-7 winners.

This match was the subject of Tom English’s brilliant book, The Grudge.

Hastings miss costs Scotland World Cup final place

The following year at the 1991 World Cup, the two met in the semi-finals, with a first final on the line for the victor. 

The game proved to be another close affair but it was England who edged through to the final thanks to a 9-6 win. 

However, it was a Scot who made this one of the most memorable Calcutta Cup moments. 

Gavin Hastings, usually such a reliable kicker, had the chance to level the scores with a penalty in front of the posts and inside the 22. 

Instead of slotting it with ease, he sliced the kick wide and the Scots are still yet to make a World Cup final. 

Scotland spoil England’s party

In the inaugural Six Nations in 2000, Scotland had the chance to get their revenge. 

England were on the rampage and were set for the Grand Slam after beating Wales, Ireland and Italy convincingly and squeezing past France. 

Scotland, on the other hand were winless the entire tournament but managed to pull off a stunning 19-13 victory against the odds. 

A record thrashing and Joseph’s hat-trick

Fast forward to 2017 and England were once again unbeaten as they hosted Scotland at Twickenham, but this time they stayed that way. 

A record 61-21 victory was a sign of how dominant England had been in recent Calcutta Cups, having not lost since 2008. 

Jonathan Joseph was exceptional and scored a sublime hat-trick as the hosts ran in seven tries in one of the most one-sided Calcutta Cup moments. 

Tunnel drama

The following year also served up one of the more memorable Calcutta Cup moments – even before the game began!

As both sides headed back to the tunnel, Scotland No 8 Ryan Wilson had a word with George Ford which Owen Farrell took exception to. 

Supposedly the players then engaged in some pushing and shoving before Scotland went on to win a first Calcutta Cup in a decade. 

Epic comeback ends in a draw

Finally, arguably the most memorable of all the Calcutta Cup moments was the famous 38-38 draw at Twickenham in 2019. 

England were in complete control in the first half and went into the dressing room 31-7 ahead and even led 31-0 after 31 minutes. 

Astonishingly, a Finn Russell masterclass helped Scotland mount one of the most impressive comebacks ever in the second half and they led by seven points with three minutes to play. 

George Ford then scored under the posts at the death to break Scottish hearts, but fans had been served up one of the most incredible games of rugby ever. 

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