Ireland v Scotland: Scotland player ratings

Visitors slump to their third defeat of this Six Nations campaign and end up fourth in the table for their third consecutive year

Pierre Schoeman scored Scotland's only points and was one of the team's better performers. Image © Craig Watson -
Pierre Schoeman scored Scotland's only points and was one of the team's better performers. Image © Craig Watson -

15. Stuart Hogg – 7

A tough week got even tougher early in the second half when he butchered a three-on-one with the Irish line at Scotland’s mercy. No doubting his commitment, talent or courage – he ran hard and kicked far – but on the day the force just was not with him. [Hugo Keenan 7] 

Ireland v Scotland reaction: ‘As leader of this side I’m bitterly disappointed with what happened’

Ireland v Scotland: disappointing Six Nations campaign fizzles out for visitors

U20 6Ns: Scotland recall Patrick Harrison to face Grand Slam chasing Ireland

14. Darcy Graham – 7

Showed eager on the first play but had to work doggedly to get into the game. Always a threat. Nervy in defence and under the high ball early on and was penalised for an early tackle on Hugo Keenan but settled down and looked very solid. [Mack Hanson 7]

13. Chris Harris – 6

Midfield anchor who kept the Scottish defence honest. Stuck the kick through which Stuart Hogg fluffed, but did not show much in attack, and spilled a couple of balls. [Gerry Ringrose 7]

12. Sam Johnson – 7

Solid in defence and ran strong lines whenever he got the chance. What you see is what you get. [Bundee Aki 8] 

11. Kyle Steyn – 6

Started badly, missing his man and then giving away a penalty on his first two kick chases, but made a great challenge on the kick-off to start the second half. Put himself about looking to get into the game but limited in what he has to offer. [James Lowe 8] 


10. Blair Kinghorn – 6

Always going to be a difficult game. His first pass did not go to hand, but he hung in there and showed some nice touches, without being able to stamp any authority on the game. Only one kick at goal in the whole match – and was way off. [Johnny Sexton 8] 

9. Ali Price – 7

Started brightly but swamped by the relentless pressure exerted by the powerful Irish back-row. Box kicking not up to his usual high standard. [Jamison Gibson-Clark 9]                                                                                                                                                                     


Enjoyed this article? Quality journalism like ours is made possible by readers like you. If you value our in-depth coverage of Scottish rugby at all levels and want to see more, please consider supporting us with a subscription or donation. It helps us keep delivering the news you love. Thank you for being a part of The Offside Line community!



1. Pierre Schoeman – 8

A great game both in the tight and around the park, though he misread the situation at the maul leading up to the first Irish try. Christmas card for Wayne Barnes who could have disallowed his try for a double movement and sent him off the forearm smash on Iain Henderson. Good players make their own luck. [Cian Healey 6]

2. George Turner – 6

Try as he might, he could not find a way back from a rotten start – when he took the steam out the opening initiative by dropping Ali Price’s promising pass, and missing Johnny Gray at the subsequent line-out. [Dan Sheehan 8] 

3. Zander Fagerson – 7

No help from the referee with a couple of untidy scrums on the hour mark, but generally no sweat – and, importantly, no needless penalties. [Tadhg Furlong 7] 

4. Jonny Gray – 7

Only lost one line-out (because of an overthrow) but did not command his area with the authority shown by his opposite number. The same about the field: plenty tackles but few of the dominant variety. [Iain Henderson 8] 

5. Grant Gilchrist – 7

Another big shift, and a tremendous try-saving turnover just before half-time. [Tadhg Beirne 7] 

6. Rory Darge – 7

Much to like – again! – but there was a pre-match  suspicion that the back-row blend was not best suited to combat the Irish juggernaut – and so it proved. [Caelan Doris 8] 

7. Hamish Watson – 8

Combative, competitive but eventually overpowered. [Josh van der Flier 9] 

8. Matt Fagerson – 8

Heroic but fruitless effort to get onto front foot. Fought to the very end with an outstanding line-out steal ten metres out – and chasing down the clearing kick. [Jack Connon 8] 



16. Fraser Brown – 6

On for George Turner in 51st minute. Looked totally comfortable. Put himself about and threw well.

17. Allan Dell – 5

Didn’t really had a chance to make an impact after replacing Pierre Schoeman in 73rd minute.

18. WP Nel – 6

Solid, as expected, after taking over from the out of steam Zander Fagerson on 54 minutes.

19. Sam Skinner – 6

Fitted in confidently as a 51st minute replacement for Grant Gilchrist.

20. Josh Bayliss – 5

Looked the part after replacing Matt Fagerson with 18 minute to go and a strong end of the season with Bath will see him become a serious contender for further international honours in the summer (and before the next Six Nations)l.

21. Ben White – 5

Unfortunate to pick up a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on.

22. Finn Russell – 7

Found a gap for Mark Bennett on his first touch of the ball. Upped the tempo by taking the ball on the gain line. Too late was the call – and not at stand-off

23. Mark Bennett – 6

A born competitor.

1872 Cup: clinical Glasgow Warriors punish Edinburgh


  1. These ratings are laughably high. Eg wtf did Hogg do to get 7. 5 at best. Kinghorn 4/5. Take 1 of all the rest and that is fair.

  2. I am absolutely outraged that Hogg got a 7 and not 6.9. I will hardly be able to sleep tonight because of it.

    Won’t somebody please think of the children?

  3. Comment attributed to Townsend on the BBC “We feel as coaches honestly that we improved over the last three games,” Townsend added. “France was better than Wales, Italy had some really good moments and yesterday [against Ireland] was arguably our best performance.I guess when you start from as low a base as the Welsh performance the first two parts of that statement have a ring of plausibility. Is that how we are meauring success now against the worst Welsh side in recent memory. As for the comment re the Ireland game, if you seriously think that was our best performanece of the 6N and is acceptable at any level you are completely delusional. Ashas been said to prvious leaders when they failed ….You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. In the name of God, go!” You have sat here for too long for any good you have been doing Go , in the name of god just go.

  4. Er, we lost by a country mile and your ratings tend to mathematically indicate that we were in the game? Come on, a little bit less blue eyed spectacles please!

  5. Stuart “best version of himself” Hogg clearly needs to actually be the best version of himself rather than talking about it.

    He’s blown a good few big moments the past couple of years. Hopefully he builds on the mistakes for the couple of years he has left.

  6. This 6Nations was a campaign of regression for this Scotland squad! for the first time, in a long time, I’m supremely pessimistic about our chances moving forward. It’s apparent that the coaching staff are at sea and the squad doesn’t particularly hold any respect for them. If a coaching change is to be made, it must be made soon, so that we can assemble an acceptable RWC squad.

  7. Shambolic on and off the field. No spark in attack and our much vaunted defence leaked 15 tries over the tournament. Over 60 penalties given away in 5 games, most of them completely avoidable. We don’t think or react fast enough in pressure situations. This group of players should be so much better. GT has gone from “the fastest rugby in the world” to now simply trying to avoid defeat. There’s a middle way that France and Ireland have found. If GT can’t find it then he should go. Only 12 or so meaningful internationals before the World Cup, the prospect of which is horrific at the moment. On the first plane home again I suspect. (at least it’s a short flight). More pragmatism needed at 10 (Thompson?) and more flair at 12 and 13 (Redpath when fit, Hutchinson, Bennett, Jones?). Ritchie as captain. You only fully realise just how good he is once he’s not there. I’d like to see Mcdonald, Walker, Ashman, Dobie, Vellacott, Bayliss, McLean and Smith among others get on the summer tour and beyond. Players who bring drive and energy to the side. Sadly lacking at present

  8. Only Shoemann deserves an 8 .
    The rest should get a 1 for turning up .
    Something has to change with this overrated squad ( some not as good as they think they are )
    & especially Management who couldn’t pick their nose correctly.
    Townsend leaving out Russell then bringing him on at centre was crazy.

  9. Ratings too high , effort and passion and commitment are a given at this level , you should not be giving points for this. That said Ireland were still operating at a higher level on that front too.
    Hoggs interview was disrespectful to the thousands of spectators that paid good money to support the team. We support for the whole 80 mins not just the time Hoggy thinks we should be looking at. The inability at this level to execute a simple 2/3 v 1 is inexcusable and he deserves to be called out on it. It’s symptomatic of where Scotland are that he somehow thinks there was something about the other 79 mins that somehow makes this error acceptable …there certainly was not. There was no point during that game yesterday that I felt Scotland were going to be close to winning.
    We hear the same cliches week in week out from Hogg and they are growing old.
    There is a significant disconnect starting to appear between the team and the supporters and it is time for change.
    We surely cannot be considering a World Cup in 18 months time without changing something whether that be coach , captain or both.
    The incident last week simply confirms that something has to change , the dynamic between coaches and players appears all wrong and it is highly unlikely that is going to improve. The judgement of this group of players is appalling – a team consistently underperforming who’s captain rattles on weekly about being tight , having commitment etc and they do this …. unbelievable lack of professionalism. If you had broken this story without giving names , I guarantee the Scottish public would have immediately guessed certainly 4 out of the 6 involved – it’s like a boys club and very predictable…
    This is a decent group of players but they are missing something that would take them to the next level , GT has had 4/5 years and we are still no closer to the improvements required to get to the next level.
    I watched the Italy performance yesterday and the way they played was inspirational and their performance level has probably been better than Scotland’s throughout the tournament. Scotland have not played well in any game this year , even the win against England was not a great performance if you look closely.
    Time for change before it’s too late…

    • That is because Italy have Kieran Crowley a very good coach. I wonder if he could be persuaded hmmmm .

  10. A week ago most on here could have made a pretty accurate stab at naming the starting 15’s, injuries aside, for both France and Ireland. To be honest we could have hazarded a good guess before the tournament started. Familiarity, communication, stability, integration all help build great teams and that’s what France and Ireland have become. By contrast we can’t even pick a wider squad pool without playing musical chairs. Velecott, Johnson, Tuipolutu, McNally, Christie, Baylis, White and probably others have all had game time then been dropped from the squad altogether. When we actually get a team on the pitch we have a 10 at 13, a 13 at 12, a 13 at winger and a winger at 10. Is it any wonder why this campaign has been disappointing at best and shambolic in the minds of many.

  11. once again you have been generous with the players markings, maybe that is what is wrong with the overall team everybody in power thinks they are all wonderful when most of them woudnt make selection in the other 6 nation teams that includes even italy.

  12. Woke up this morning and just felt very sad with the state of Scottish rugby, after a such deflating 6N and a drubbing from the Irish I have no idea why I put myself through reading articles reminding me of the debacle. I suppose it is in the hope that writers and commentators share my feelings that something is rotten with this team and indeed, the SRU. How can teams like Ireland just be so much more professional than us, they don’t have a club structure like England or France but they are a streamlined modern rugby team supported from grass roots right to the top, even with the fractious history between north and south they can come together and produce a wonderful national team. We need to learn from this.

    We have some young guys who seem to put everything into it but suffer from limited physical attributes compared to other top-tier nations (Watson, Darge, M Fagerson) some honest journeyman pros who turn up to squad sessions and either perform adequately or not (or simply don’t get the chance to perform and kick-on). Non-Scots born players who get criticised for not being Scottish enough from some quarters but who give their all and are superb and indeed vital to the team because they bring some size and nous. (Schoemann, Nel, VDM). Last but not least we have a few players who think they are world-class but act like footballers (Hogg and Russell and potentially Price) who have an effect on the group that we are perhaps only now realising. These guys are tricky to manage and seem to think they know best and the drinking session makes this clear for all to see.

    I don’t rate Townsend as a coach yet, I think it would have been great to let him leave Scotland and get some experience abroad and then return (or not) to have a go at the national side but can you imagine trying to coach these guys and get them to offer you some respect? Not easy I imagine. I remember many years ago living in Edinburgh when Scotland players would be swanning around in sponsored Nissans thinking they had made it and then getting beaten by Italy. Big fish in small pond mentality. It has to stop.

    It is fair enough being beaten by a better team, that’s sport but it seems to me that the coaches need to get a grip on this bunch, sadly it might take a change at the top as every regime/organisation goes stale after a while. I don’t think we have the luxury of just being able to drop all the prima donnas in one go (we then get a situation where a player like Kinghorn is playing 10) but the senior guys need to respect their peers and the team and Hogg simply does not warrant his place if he can’t complete a 3 on 1 overlap at this level. Look at the All Blacks where the senior guys are the ones clearing up and looking after the younger lads, the young guys then learn some humility when they see their seniors acting this way. Maybe I am wrong but I can’t see Hogg and Russell doing that or a Scottish version of the same, they think they are too good/flash etc. Hogg’s response when he threw a rubbish pass behind Steyn in the last game laid the attitude bare, he blamed Steyn, not himself.

    Give players like Hutchison, Ashman, Smith, Bayliss etc a chance in the next internationals, bring back Maitland and Scott who are playing well and have loads to offer. For all his faults Russell seems like he would be a decent guy to have around in what can be an intense environment, every team has a character or two and he seems to support the younger lads so manage him properly and get the senior pros like him buying into a new philosophy without the “as one” etc marketing rubbish.

    Sorry, the above went on a bit. Rant over.

  13. Midfield anchor? Yes, if that is what drags you down and stops you moving.

    If we aren’t creative, can’t build phases and have no threat at 13, then all the defensive solidity in the world won’t help. Huw Jones, Bennet, Tuipulotu, Hutchison would all add something and bring out the best in our wide game. Harris just tucks it under his arm and runs straight, frequently losing it in contact or getting turned over. Toony seems to be trapped in a defensive mindset and risks missing out on a golden generation.

    PS…….we also need to pick line out forwards that can compete for the oppositions ball.

  14. How on earth can you give player ratings 7/8 across the board, when arguably the whole team was helpless? Most players would scrape a 5 at best. Totally demolished by a better Irish side and didn’t look like we were in it once. Townsends plan was damage prevention, and as such it reflected in the performance. The sooner he leaves Scottish rugby the better as for such a group of talented players he has wasted Scotlands opportunity to actually compete which was non existent prior to Vern Cotter. The fact that Hogg who is talked up so much by the media, given the role of the captaincy and still can’t complete a basic 2 on 1 scenario out of greed speaks volumes about the state of Scottish rugby. I can only pray that we get someone new in, clearly all respect has been lost by the players and although the SRU will keep making money at the turnstiles as people who know nothing about rugby wander through, we will never actually compete with Townsend as a head coach

  15. Hogg and Townsend get angry when pressed, Hogg said we’ll not bother about talking about 5 secs of a 80min game (the seminal point of the whole match where he ignored a 3 on 1).
    Not good.
    Playing 2 defensive centres drastically limits any attacking potential. Harris seems a good guy a solid honest player but…….
    As Tom English says the 4th last year and the 4th this year feels so different

  16. Jayzuz not again – with the exception of Schoeman the entire team should get a D minus. Hogg’s refusal to pass to his team mates with the try line beckoning does not merit a seven in my book and that’s just the start of it. Haven’t the energy to vent any more, for this has been a truly dreadful campaign throughout which the performances of our players have been consistently over-marked.

  17. Jayzuz not again – with the exception of Schoeman the entire team should get a D minus. Hogg’s refusal to pass to his team mates with the try line beckoning does not merit a seven in my book and that’s just the start of it. Haven’t the energy to vent any more, for this has been a truly dreadful campaign throughout which the performances of our players have been consistently over-marked.

  18. The pack can hold their heads up. They did the job, and were awkward to deal with.

    As for the rest, barring Graham and Darge…mediocre at best.

    I don’t hold out hope for 2023. We’ll have a solid summer tour against poor opposition where the SRU will try to put lipstick on the pig. But the stats don’t lie.

    The Autumn tests and the next 6 nations won’t change anything unless something fundamental shifts in the leadership of this squad. Some people need reminding of what it means to play for a team, their country, and it’s followers.

    We are awful, woeful, error-stricken, doubt-ridden, arrogant, rudderless, and out on our feet.

    Its laughable that I even conceived we would have a good 6 nations.

    Let down again and bullet wounds plugged up with platitudes for plasters by the masters of contrition in defeat.

    Watched Hogg’s post-match press conference. It was quite clear this lad is away with the fairies. No sense of the magnitude of his actions this week, or how it has affected the fan base.

    The same old script wheeled out by a man in declining stature. Totally lost my attention after this week. It’s gone.

    • Your comments are spot on, the total disdain shown by the Captain of Scotland to the very people who have made him a very wealthy young man are appaling.

  19. Given your rankings there wasn’t much between the sides. However, Ireland were in a different league and if wasn’t for our defence they would have been out of sight.

    Kinghorn, the kingpin to how the whole team is gong to play, was obviously ordered to play deep, which doesn’t leave many attacking options open, and the forwards gave away countless penalties and knock-ons. Extremely poor discipline took away any chance we had of getting a foothold in the game.

  20. The ratings feel a little generous in a game where we were so comprehensively beaten. After scrapping to finish closely with Ireland for the last two years this felt a big step backwards where their forward power simply blew us away. Perhaps if we’d made more of this loose and frenetic start, Hogg had finished the 3-1 chance we might have made it closer but the reality is Ireland and France have both taken a giant leap forward ahead of their 6N rivals this year and we were also rans today and over the championship.

    What has dogged us all tournament is poor discipline, unforced errors, and a failure to hold possession and build pressure, not helped by the chopping and changing tactics and personnel.

    Steyn is never a test wing, he was really poor again, but otherwise it isn’t obvious we have lots of personnel changes that can change the script.


Comments are closed.