6N: Scotland player ratings (versus England)

How did Scotland’s players rate in their Calcutta Cup triumph?

Scotland player ratings
Huw Jones scored twice in a famous win for Scotland. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Scotland player ratings in their triumph over England at Murrayfield, as captain John Barclay lifts the Calcutta Cup for the first time in a decade.

15. Stuart Hogg– 8 out of 10

Didn’t dominate in the way we know he can, but was a constant menace with the ball in hand, and the threat he naturally poses had England second-guessing themselves every time he got near the ball. Took a poor option chipping out of defence instead of putting his laces though the ball in the lead up to Farrell’s try, but made partial amends when he rocketed a kick 50 yards into touch just after that score, which gave Scotland some vital breathing space at a crucial moment.


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14. Tommy Seymour – 8

Dangerous in possession  comfortable in defence  good in the air. Was the team’s second top carrier behind Jones with 75 metres. Limped off with what appeared to be ankle injury in the 64th minute.

13. Huw Jones – 9

A class act. Was first to react when Anthony Watson tied himself in knots trying to gather Russell’s cheeky dink through and made the most of it snatch his ninth try in Scotland colours in only his 14th appearance. Try number ten was screamer – great vision to hit the perfect line and burst between Nathan Hughes and Owen Farrell, fantastic speed to break clear and tremendous strength to wrestle his way over the line despite both Anthony Watson and Mike Brown trying to pull him down. Made 133 yards with the ball in hand.

12.  Peter Horne – 8

Delayed his pass to Watson a nanosecond too long when Scotland had a huge overlap on the left after ten minutes of the second half, which was a crying shame for Scotland because a try was definitely on the cards. An understated rock in midfield, not everything went his way but he had more than enough wit and desire to roll with the punches. Replaced by Grigg on 71 minutes,

11. Sean Maitland – 8

Took his try excellently. Rock solid under the high ball and in defence. Carried hard when he got the chance.

10. Finn Russell – 9

What a man! His cheeky kick through in the 15th minute to set up Jones’ first try could have ended up very differently, but the ball bounced kindly – which has not always been the case in this Six Nations – and suddenly he was off and running. An inch perfect diagonal into the corner a few minutes later confirmed that his natural rhythm had returned. He diced with death with a looping flat pass over Jamie Jospeh’s head, which sent Huw Jones away at the start of the move which led to Maitland’s try, and then repeated the trick a few phases later to finally send the winger in. His kicking from hand was imaginative and effective  keeping the game where it needed to be. And he tackled like a man possessed.

9. Greig Laidlaw – 8

Composed and compelling  the catalyst for all the good things that happened around about him. Ws handed a huge let-off when his pass was intercepted by opposite number Danny Care and the pitch opened up in front of the Englishman, only for Nigel Owens to call play back for hands in the previous ruck. Replaced by Price on 62 minutes.


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1. Gordon Reid – 8

Scotland’s scrum was penalised once but generally it stacked up, yet again. Replaced by Jamie Bhatti on 55 minutes after a huge shift.

2. Stuart McInally – 9

Another huge performance  especially in the first half when he had several telling carries. The 27-year-old has played every minute of all three games in the championship so far, and looked dead on his feet as England cranked the pressure gauge up through the roof during the final five minutes, but he somehow conjured the energy and strength to clamp himself over the tackled man and squeeze a penalty for his team right under the shadow of his own posts, which extinguished any realistic chance England had of snatching a last gasp win. His two bad line-out throws were more than made up for with his huge contributions elsewhere.

3. Simon Berghan – 8

Continually offered himself up in open play and didn’t take a backward step at scrum time. Is now being selected on merit – and not just availability. With WP Nel and Zander Fagerson likely to be fully match fit in two weeks’ time, the selection panel have a tough decision to make.

4. Grant Gilchrist – 8

Got over the top of Mako Vunipola on the deck to force an early penalty, which Laidlaw duly turned into three points. Did give away a soft penalty for obstruction straight after Jones’ opening try, which allowed Farrell to successfully kick for goal at a time when Scotland were on the up-and-up, penalised a short while later for collapsing a drive line-out, and was beaten on the outside by Farrell for England’s try, but generally lived up to the high standard he set for himself against France.

5. Jonny Gray – 9

An awesome game – an appreciable maturity about his play, against some pretty formidable opponents. The games top tackler with 20, which was seven more than any there player.

6. John Barclay – 9

Back to his awkward, belligerent best. The game was won at the breakdown  and the Scotland captain played the referee to the limit  with couple of memorable game defining steals in real pressure situations. Won a huge penalty over the ball on the deck on hs own 22 in the first half, and an even more important one 15 yards from his own line with 12 minutes to go. Didn’t allow England a second to get their bearings. Every ruck was a war zone and he was the home team’s gold star commando.

7. Hamish Watson – 9

An absolute titan at the breakdown. Wherever John Barclay went he was never more than an inch behind. Tidied up a lot of scrappy ball and ploughed through a lot of important hard yards.

8. Ryan Wilson – 9

His aggression levels set the standard which his team-mates were more than happy to match. The spearhead of a dominant back-row triumvirate. Met fire with fire and never blinked let alone took a backward step.

Replacements

16. Scott Lawson– N/A

Unused

17. Jamie Bhatti – 6

Replaced Reid on 55 minutes. Was knocked into the middle of next week by Sam Underhill’s shoulder charge, but he will surely say it was worth it to see the England flanker sent to the sin-bin and Russell exact the full punishment with a successful shot at goal.

18. WP Nel  – 7

Replaced Berghan on 68 minutes. The crucial scrum penalty England conceded in the 73rd minute was on his side.

19. Tim Swinson – 6

Replaced Gilchrist on 55 minutes and brought some valuable fresh energy to see out the game.

20. Dave Denton – 6

Replaced Wilson on 68 minutes

21. Ali Price – 6

Replaced Laidlaw on 62 minutes and showed a cool head.

22. Nick Grigg – 7

Replaced Horne on 71 minutes. A really smart and brave bit of defending when he rushed out the line and forced Joseph to step back inside from a yawning overlap with six minutes to go.

23. Blair Kinghorn – 6

Made his debut off the bench in 64th minute  with the score at 22-13 to Scotland – now that’s pressure! Used his height to win an up-and-under and did everything asked of him without ever getting chance to stretch those legs with the ball in hand.


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About David Barnes 2967 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.