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A one-off match for the Commonwealth

John GriffithsAugust 4, 2014
The 1970 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony © PA Photos
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I remember a special rugby match at Murrayfield staged - I'm pretty sure - in connection with the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in 1970. Can you confirm - do you have any details of the match? Ken Marshall, Scotland

A match between a Scotland XV and the Barbarians took place at Murrayfield in May 1970 with the proceeds going to the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games fund. For the Scots it was a final run-out before embarking on a short Test tour to Australia.

They were unlucky to lose their wing, Mike Smith, to injury early on and also lost scrum-half Duncan Paterson towards the end of the game. Replacements were not permitted because it was a non-cap game, so Tom Elliot switched from the back-row and the Scots had to play most of the match with seven forwards.

They were well-beaten (17-33) by a Barbarian side in which every player was a capped international. The star-studded invitation side led 8-6 at the break before finding its feet and cutting loose to score five more tries in the second half.

Scotland XV: ISG Smith; MA Smith, JNM Frame, JWC Turner, AG Biggar; I Robertson, DS Paterson; N Suddon, FAL Laidlaw (captain), AB Carmichael, GL Brown, PK Stagg, TG Elliot, PC Brown, RJ Arneil Scorers Try: Elliot Conversion: PC Brown Penalty Goals: PC Brown (4)

Barbarians: JPR Williams; ATA Duggan, JS Spencer (captain), DJ Duckham, KJ Fielding; B John, GO Edwards; DB Llewelyn, JV Pullin, P O'Callaghan, MG Molloy, IS Gallacher, ML Hipwell, TM Davies, JF Slattery

Scorers Tries: Duckham (2), Fielding, Spencer, Molloy, Edwards, Llewelyn Conversions: JPR Williams (6)

Referee Mr RP Burrell (Scotland)

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

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Writer Bio

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

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