By The Spotter
The 1983 Scotland team almost managed to defeat the All Blacks…but not quite.
Had Peter Dods succeeded with a last-minute sideline conversion, that side would still remain as the only Scottish team to record a win over the Blacks. (the 1964 Scottish side also managed a draw- 0-0; agonisingly depriving N.Z. of a first-ever grand slam over the four home unions).
That 1983 clash was edge-of the-seat stuff all the way. Two brilliant kick n’ chase tries by Bristlin’ Bernie Fraser when he ran past Dods as if the Scottish fullback were a statue on a certain remote island a long way west of Chile looked to have set the All Blacks up for a decisive win, but the Scots started dominating the lineouts over the inexperienced pairing of Gary Braid and Alby Anderson and Dods suddenly started knocking over a few penalty kicks.
To the final minute and from a short lineout, Braid mistimed his jump but somehow still grasped the ball. However it then squirted free on the way down and the Scottish backs were sent away from a quick maul. The inside centre ( and former Heart of Midlothian Junior football rep) David Johnston then placed a judicious kick over the on rushing All Black midfield defence. It was now down to a race deep into the in-goal area between the right winger for the all whites of Scotland (due to a change of jersey), Jim Pollock against Fraser and Robbie Deans.
Showing an exceptional turn of foot it was the Scot who got there first to score just inches from the dead ball line- a try reminiscent of Tom Grace’s for Ireland against the All Blacks in 1973; which was another dagger blow to grand slam hopes, but that’s another story.
So to Dods and his attempted conversion for a fairytale win. Perhaps the euphoria got to him and the chance to win a famous game by 27-25 drifted by, along with the ball just outside the upright and as a result, Scotland’s and Dods’ late chance at everlasting fame.