Chapter 56 – Rugby’s First International

A north-east breeze rolls across the ground, where 20 Scotsmen and 20 Englishmen stand proud. 

“The Scottish Captain, Francis Moncrieff, hails from Edinburgh Academicals and his English counterpart, Frederick Stokes, from Blackheath F.C..”, I said to James, “Their enthusiasm is characteristic of their age; 21 and 20 years old, respectively.”

The dark blue Scottish jerseys are adorned by a badge of thistle, whereas the English white jerseys are decorated with a red rose. Their uniform, crowned by crushed velvet caps, radiate in the spring sunshine.

The match kicks off at 3pm with two national titans intent on victory. 

“They are much heavier and stronger, James, it will take great cunning to beat them.”, I said.

The first 50 minutes is tense with no score. The sides switch ends and Scotland push forward, with Angus Buchanan touching down for a Try and William Cross kicking a fine goal to record a score. England fights back with Reg Birkett touching down, however, the kick is missed. In the final 90 seconds, John Arthur touches down for a second Scottish try, however it remains unconverted. 

We all cheer as Scotland record a famous victory.

I walk over to congratulate John Arthur. Out of the corner of my eye, I spot Edward Fortis commiserating Frederick Stokes. I didn’t realise they were acquaintances. 

———————————- © Graeme Brown 2019 ————————————-

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