England rugby captain Peter Wheeler prepares to cut a cake baked by Peebles Hydro head chef Joseph Turner, left, and pastry chef Russell Symons. The English team made the Tweeddale hotel their base for the Calcutta Cup and Five Nations encounter with Scotland at Murrayfield in 1984.
The cake was to mark an anniversary in the clashes between the two nations. And while Wheeler may have sliced through the commemorative cake with ease, his side found they couldn’t do the same with Scotland’s defence on the field.
Victory went to the Scots, coached by Jim Telfer of Melrose, who consolidated a narrow 6-3 lead into an 18-6 victory. David Johnston and Ewan Kennedy scored a try (four points) apiece, while Gala’s Peter Dods converted both and slotted two penalties. Dusty Hare secured England’s points from penalties.
And of course – having already beaten Wales – the Triple Crown beckoned at Landsdowne Road with the final match against the French at Murrayfield. History was about to be made...
A rugby historian recorded: “1984 was a wonderful year for Scotland – after waiting nearly 60 years they recorded their second Grand Slam. Victory [15-9] over Wales at Cardiff Arms Park started the ball rolling, followed by an 18-6 win over the Auld Enemy at Murrayfield. Arguably, the best display of the season came against Ireland at Lansdowne Road where the Triple Crown was won, a lead of 22 points by half-time saw the Scots cruise to victory [32-9]. The Grand Slam was won against France [21-12]. Peter Dods kicked five penalty goals and when Jim Calder crashed over from short range at a lineout with only three minutes left on the clock, there was no comeback for the French. Jim Aitken [Gala] captained each match from the front row and Dods kicked a Scottish championship record of 50 points.”
The teams in the Calcutta Cup match were:
Scotland: Peter Dods; Keith Robertson, Euan Kennedy, David Johnston and Roger Baird; John Rutherford and Roy Laidlaw; Jim Aitken (c), Colin Deans, Iain Milne, Bill Cuthbertson, Alan Tomes, Jim Calder, Ian Paxton and David Leslie. Replacements: John Beattie and Jim Pollock.
England: Dusty Hare; John Carleton, Huw Davies, Clive Woodward and Mike Slemen; Les Cusworth and Nick Youngs; Colin White, Peter Wheeler(c), Gary Pearce, Maurice Colclough, Steve Bainbridge, Paul Simpson, John Scott and Peter Winterbottom. Replacement: Jon Hall.
Referee: Dave Burnett, Ireland.
Compiled by Bob Burgess
Photograph by Alastair Watson