Duncan Smith: Was Calcutta Cup win greatest Scots victory of all time?

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“A win’s a win” goes the old sporting cliche but the extraordinary events that unfolded at BT Murrayfield this evening bring George Orwell’s famous line to mind and prompt the response that “some wins are more equal than others”.

The Scottish fans who poured into the stadium in the late afternoon would surely have taken a repeat of the tryless wins over England of the past decade before kick-off but deep down in the soul this is what they craved.

Not just a win, but a win for the ages. A thrilling explosion of attacking flair and derring-do which ripped the seemingly invincible English apart.

This was the stuff of dreams. The kind which, for Scottish sports fans, are so often punctured by waking reality and turned into a nightmare.

But not this time. The debate begins now on whether this was the greatest Scotland rugby victory of all time.

The 1990 epic retains the trump card of bringing with it a championship, Triple Crown and Grand Slam as well as the Calcutta Cup, which is now so gloriously back into Scottish hands.

Ryan Wilson celebrates with the Calcutta Cup. Picture: SNS Group

Ryan Wilson celebrates with the Calcutta Cup. Picture: SNS Group

But these 80 minutes contained so many golden moments, each of which feel like pieces of silverware in their own right. Those three first-half tries, one more than had been scored against the auld enemy at home in the previous 18 years were devoured by an increasingly insatiable home crowd.

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At 4.45pm when Finn Russell dropped the ball on his boot to start the 125th Calcutta Cup he must have felt the crowd willing him to rediscover his mojo, silence the critics and go out and have a stormer.

Those who have followed the gifted 25-year-old’s career knew he had it in him. Many times the Glasgow playmaker has shaken off the occasional howler or bad game and followed it up with a breathtaking flurry genius. The stand-off has an almost un-Scottish immunity to pressure.

However, even the biggest Russell fans must have been wide-eyed at this man-of-the-match response. When he miscued a pass forward early on the concerns resurfaced only to be banished in stunning style.

His teasing kick through bobbled kindly for Huw Jones to get that first try against England for 14 years and then the Russell Show really kicked into gear.

This is someone who takes playing on the edge to its absolute extremes. Even with the pressure of two below-par performance on his shoulders he was willing to strive for the kind of magic you always sensed would be need to beat the champions, who had only lost once in two years.

A long floated pass looked for an agonising second that it would be intercepted, but it reached the brilliant Jones, and Russell followed up to ping the scoring pass to Sean Maitland.

Jones continued his magnificent scoring record, barging over for one of the most memorable scores ever seen at Murrayfield.

The second half never brought the bonus-point sealing fourth try but was a showcase of grit and discipline, a perfect complement to the fireworks of the first.

Taken as a whole, it was a match to lift the nation, and will be savoured and talked about for decades to come.