On the day of the match, over four-thousand people paid a shilling to watch the match, which was played over two fifty-minute halves. The Scots, captained by Francis Moncrieff, wore brown shirts, and the English, captained by Stokes, wore white shirts emblazoned with a red rose. The match umpire was Hely Hutchinson Almond, headmaster of Loretto School in nearby Musselburgh.
The Scots scored first when William Cross converted Angus Buchanan’s try. John Arthur went over the English goal-line for the second Scottish try, but he knocked the ball on before grounding it. While this was not allowed in the English game, it was perfectly acceptable in Scotland. The umpire judged the knock-on to be inadvertent and ruled that the try stood, to the annoyance of the English. Further controversy was avoided when the Scots failed to convert the try and thus received no points, as were the rules of the day. The English also failed to convert a try, so the first international rugby match ended with the Scots winning 1:0.