THIS was the 1956 Murrayfield encounter between Scotland and England that had a certain contradiction at its heart.

As the Glasgow Herald match report put it: “A full-blooded Scot kicked three beautiful goals from near the touchline yet Scotland lost for want of a successful goalkicker”.

The answer to the riddle was J.D. (John David) Currie, who had been born to Scots parents but had chosen to play for England, where he had been born and where he had played his rugby. His clubs at the time were Oxford University and Bristol Clifton.

“Scotland’s inability to produce reliable goalkickers would appear, therefore, to be a problem of training rather than of breeding”, our rugby correspondent continued.

Scotland lost that March fixture by six points to 11; England thus took the Calcutta Cup (for the sixth successive year, as it happened) and Scotland, with only one win (over France) and three defeats, were bottom of the Five Nations table.

A French defeat of England the following month confirmed the Scots as the holders of that year’s wooden spoon.

Despite the defeat by England, Scotland’s performance had lots of positive signs: their first-half try, for example, the build-up to which featured A.F. Dorward (above, right), was a “complex and spectacular” reply to an English try.

In the second half the Scottish defence did an excellent job of containing England, with the backs and forwards wasting little time in getting on to the loose ball in force the instant an English player was tackled.

Our correspondent noted a “remarkable” feature of the game – that three Scottish threequarters, the scrum half and four forwards all suffered knocks to the head.

“In addition”, he wrote, “[T.] Elliot [of Gala] stopped a well-driven right hook, but scarcely seemed to notice the incident. Neither did the referee, fortunately for the assailant, who had already had a warning”.

Read more: Herald Diary