Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

The ultimate grudge match: When the Scots confounded England at Murrayfield


SPORT RUGBY NATIONS SCOTLANDA slow and depressing decline after the glory of the 1980 grand slam was magically reversed during the winter of 1989-90 when England played rugby of skill, spirit and boundless optimism.

Nobody could match the English in Europe and their standards touched those attained by New Zealand and Australia, the pace setters in world rugby at the time.

South of Hadrian’s Wall, the Five Nations championship decider at Murrayfield on March 17 was considered a no contest.

While Scotland were greatly respected in world rugby without being particularly feared, England under Will Carling had made startling progress since their dismal performance at the first World Cup in 1987.