England v Scotland: Scotland player ratings

Duhan van der Merwe, Finn Russell and George Turner are top rated on another red letter day for Scotland at Twickenham

Duhan van der Merwe scores Scotland's winning try versus England. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Duhan van der Merwe scores Scotland's winning try versus England. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

15. Stuart Hogg – 7

Solid and workmanlike in defence, and won a great penalty over the tackle early on which set up field position for opening try. But has played better in attack. Maybe a bit rusty. Blew a clear scoring opportunity with a poor pass on the 60 minute mark after Kyle Steyn had broken up the right touch-line. Wasn’t happy with being subbed off with 15 minutes to go, but Blair Kinghorn brought some fresh impetus.

 [Freddie Steward 6] 

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14. Kyle Steyn – 7

The game did not run his way, but showed willing and dangerous whenever it did, and was comfortable defensively.

[Max Malins 8]

13. Huw Jones – 8

Hit a great line in the lead up to his own superb try, and was sharp in anticipating Tupulotu’s chip through. Missed Marchant badly early on, but otherwise kept the outside door firmly shut.  

[Joe Merchant 7]

12. Sione Tuipulotu – 8

Excellent. A constant threat. Always attacking the ball. Tremendous vision chipping through for Huw Jones’ try. Bumped by Freddie Steward early doors, but otherwise, rock solid.

[Owen Farrell 7] 

11. Duhan van der Merwe – 9

He showed breath-taking power and pace and a bit of footwork too to take advantage of some flaky English defence to score two very special tries –  one from 55 yards out brushing aside five English defenders in the process. Strong under the high ball, but was pulled narrow for both of Max Malins’ tries.

[Ollie Hassell-Collins 6] 

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10. Finn Russell – 9

Careless start, maybe trying to force the game too early – but once he found his feet he played brilliantly, spreading the ball fast and wide, finding huge spaces outside the front line of the English defence. Kicked the goals he needed to kick –  and his restarts were spot on.

[Marcus Smith 7] 

9. Ben White – 8

Slick hands, giving Russell the ball how he wanted it, and blew a hole in England’s peripheral defence to score the crucial third try. Box-kicks were not always quite on the money.

[Jack van Poortvliet 7]        


1. Pierre Schoeman – 7

A hard day at the office but he kept the scrum intact for an hour without being able to match Ellis Genge in the loose.

[Ellis Genge 8]

2. George Turner – 9

Great darts, particularly the throw to the tail that led to Huw Jones’ try. Scrummed hard – carried strongly – and landed some big hits.

[Jamie George 7] 

3. WP Nel – 7

The key man in Zander Fagerson’s absence. Under huge scrum pressure, but did not buckle, though his body did give up on him after an hour.

[Kyle Sinckler 7] 

4. Richie Gray – 8

More than held his own at the line-out  must have been putting his weight through the scrum  put himself about in the loose – and was a vital link in van der Merwe’s winning try. 

[Maro Itoje 7] 

5. Grant Gilchrist – 7

Another big shift from a real warrior. Nothing to choose between him and the highly-rated Itoje.

[Ollie Chessum 7] 

6. Jamie Ritchie – 8

Led by example – conscientious and committed – beavering away below the radar. Dropped a ball badly to let England back in after half time – but more than made up for it with his steal in the last play of the game.

 [Lewis Ludlum 7] 

7. Luke Crosbie – 8

A Six Nations debut to remember. Competitive and very combative at the break-down, sticking his body on the line fearlessly. Never took a backward step.

[Ben Curry 7] 4

8. Matt Fagerson – 8

Busy and aggressive about the park, making an astonishing 27 tackles, kept the scrum ball reasonably tidy, and played his bit in the winning try.

[Alex Drombrandt 5] 


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16. Fraser Brown – 6

Came on for George Turner on the hour mark and was immediately faced with a difficult throw on his own line, but he cracked it, and had a role in the winning try.

17. Jamie Bhatti – 5

A tough ask coming on at loose-head for the last quarter of an hour,  but he got through it.

18. Simon Berghan – 5

Last 20 minutes were hard going but he hung in there. Gave away a couple of needless penalties.

19. Jonny Gray – 5

Looked eager when he came on for Grant Gilchrist in 65th minute.

20. Jack Dempsey – 5

Blew hot and cold after replacing Luke Crosby around the hour mark with a couple of good carries, a great tackle … and a spilled pass.

21. George Horne – 6

Added zip during the final ten minutes after coming on for Ben White.

22. Blair Kinghorn – 6

Stepped up to the plate when he came on for Stuart Hogg in 65th minute.

23. Chris Harris – N/A

Got four minutes at the end.

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  1. First off – utterly fantastic game and massive credit to the team – beat England at HQ and if we don’t count 2019, first since 1983 … superb.

    But it will all be for naught if like the last 2 years, we get beat by Wales .. I suspect an attempted firestorm from Wales from kickoff, if we blunt that, then game on.

    Finally, is it just me, or does Hoggy just try tooooooo hard. He looks like he would give anything for the 6N Trophy – I think he needs to re-engage his brain a little and take pleasure from the game …..??

  2. Two special mentions: Russell, who made a point very bluntly to Farrell after the first Van der Merwe try. Tuipulotu, who I swear I saw offer a Smithesque hitchkick late in the 2nd half, which may or may not have been taking the ****.

  3. S superb performance from Scotland and a well deserved win.
    But we must continue from a fantastic win yesterday to next week’s international against Wales
    We play like we did yesterday then we can beat Wales.

  4. it was of course a great win, and a deserved one. But as both coach and captain said, it wasn’t Scotland’s best performance. Hence overall I think the ratings a bit on the high side
    I’m still grinning ear to ear of course!

  5. Superb result. From a good performance, still with room for improvement. Wales will be up for it and it will take real focus and accuracy by Scotland to get the result we need.
    Many may point to England’s greater share of possession and territory, but perhaps this was artificially inflated by Scotland not contesting a lot of breakdowns to concentrate on keeping a strong defensive line for the next phase.
    The front row stood up well given the ref abandoning policing driving in with both Genge and Cole relying on driving at + 45 degrees more often than not.
    A bit of a mixed bag form Russell who sometimes struggled with passing and kicking as he was targeted during Englands first half onslaught. But enough good moments to make amends.
    Though Duhan will get the plaudits, I thought Steyn was really solid and looked surprisingly quick against what I thought might be a quicker back line.
    But the star play/er was Duhan’s try, where he finally unleashed the never seen before side-step. No wonder England defenders were surprised. Add in a brilliant change of ball carrying arm in the blink of an eye, to allow him to hand-off Dombrant and it really was a work of genius. Who knew he could do that. : )
    A great day that puts us in good position to make an impact in this years championship if we can take forward the confidence and focus.

    • I couldn’t agree more about Cole and Genge in particular, unless I know even less of the dark arts of the front row the overhead camera for me was telling, how can you be pushing straight when your backside and legs are virtually at right angles?

    • Ironic that, with spidercam making it easier than ever to clearly see the angle of drive, a team can get away with never driving straight for 80 mins without a comment from any official, including the TMO who saw what we saw.

  6. 1 through 23 the team were immense – so much unseen work done by the pack.
    Injuries apart, hope there are no changes for next week for the starting XV – maybe Zander on the bench…

  7. Can’t agree with the 9 for Russell. Felt he forced a lot of things that didnt pay off. Missed a fairly easy conversion, a couples of kicks out on the full, some bad passes and attempted a bizarre offload that wasnt on. His defence, which is often not mentioned, was excellent though.

    Great win and hope the boys back it up next week.

  8. I think Tuipolotu should receive an extra point for a bone-crunching tackle on Marcus Smith to slam him into touch, that brought a lot of joy to my heart.

  9. Tuipulotu had a big hand in the winning try, recognising Horne was tied up in the ruck and coming in to play 9 without missing a beat. Any delay on that and VDM’s not finding that space.

    Likewise, credit to Steyn in the first VDM try for doing the simple thing i.e. fielding a high ball and getting it to the danger man quickly. Graham might have been tempted to run it himself from a weaker position.

    Schoeman’s carry was vital for White’s try. Just a fantastic performance from everyone in blue (and in fairness a decent performance from those in white too).

  10. A bit harsh on Steyn Dempsey and Kinghorn, thought Steyn in particular opened England up which helped create the space for at least one try. Back row did a lot of unseen work but 8s all round maybe a bit generous

    • Yeah, big moment for Steyn yesterday. Easy to forget he doesn’t have many caps, but I thought yesterday he looked comfortable playing a tier 1 nation and brought his club form with him.


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