XV-a-Side rugby column: Recalling 'the worst game ever' involving Scotland

Here is this week’s XV-a-Side column, created in partnership with Rugby Memories Scotland.
Who is this former Scotland scrum half, pictured in action against Ireland back in 1991 (Photo: Russell Cheyne/Allsport)Who is this former Scotland scrum half, pictured in action against Ireland back in 1991 (Photo: Russell Cheyne/Allsport)
Who is this former Scotland scrum half, pictured in action against Ireland back in 1991 (Photo: Russell Cheyne/Allsport)


Last week’s mystery player was Jim Aitken of Gala and Scotland who captained the Grand Slam winning team of 1984.

The answer to last week’s true or false teaser was TRUE. Jean-Pierre Rives did become a celebrated artist and sculptor.


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Falkirk faced Kirkcaldy as they continued their title challenge and recorded a 49-35 victory.

With Peebles winning 54-13 against Berwick, the gap at the top remains at one point.


The Stags progressed to the next round of the National Shield where they will meet RAF Lossiemouth after a 26-19 win against Mackie Academy FPs.

The match was the proverbial “game of two halves”.

There were plenty of talking points in an eccentric display of refereeing and at times it was hard to keep track of the yellow cards being issued.

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Meanwhile Grangemouth’s seconds went down 47-7 against Strathmore seconds.


The fixture backlog meant that the game between the local side and Crieff and Strathearn was a double-header.

The league leaders rattled up 109 points in a match that reflected the relative league positions of the sides.


Grangemouth women made it a National Shield double when they beat Highland 29-15 at Glensburgh. It keeps their season alive and the win was well deserved.


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Falkirk continue their National League Division 2 title challenge when they entertain Berwick, while Grangemouth set off for Wales this morning to play Llandybie for the Alban Jenkins Shield.


It was a Welsh referee who sent the All Blacks forward Colin Meads off in the 1967 game against Scotland at Murrayfield?


Rugby Memories groups will often recall the Greatest Games of the tournaments, but one match always comes up when the attention turns to the opposite category. “The Worst Game Ever” for those of a certain age is nearly always the Scotland-Wales match at Murrayfield in 1963.

The game finished with Wales winning 6-0, but it was another statistic that ruined the game and was eventually to lead to a change in the laws.

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The programme notes gave an ominous forecast of what was to come. “Rowlands is an exceptionally clever tactical kicker.”

Only two scores were recorded, a penalty by full-back Grahame Hodgson after quarter of an hour’s play and a drop goal from Clive Rowlands fifteen minutes into the second half. Ironically, these were the only points he scored in his entire International career.

Rowlands controlled the game, but a more realistic description would be he “killed” it off. Not once did the ball reach the centres from the stand-off and Wales had some talented backs.

The final count was a total of 111 line-outs- a figure almost unimaginable in the modern game. It didn’t make for exciting watching – or viewing. At full-time, Rowlands was chaired off the pitch by joyous Welsh supporters, while several Scots, who had not yet succumbed to frostbite or hypothermia, threw snowballs in disgust at his display.