#RWC2019: Ireland v Scotland: Scotland player ratings

Not many high marks here after Scotland's World Cup campaign got off to a disappointing start with a heavy defeat to Ireland

Scotland v Ireland
Scotland captain Stuart McInally and his dejected team leave the field. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

15. Stuart Hogg – 6

A couple of siege-gun kicks and the odd searing run, but struggled to get into the game. Targeted and neutralised by the aggressive and well structured Irish defence. The game’s top carrier with 107 metres but only two clean breaks and one defender beaten is pretty low returns by his own high standards.

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14. Tommy Seymour – 5

Pretty anonymous apart from one break when Scotland managed to get him into space on the outside during the first half, but didn’t have the gas to get away. In fairness, the game did not run his way.

13. Duncan Taylor – 6

On the back-foot throughout the game, but showed up well at the breakdown.

12. Sam Johnson – 6

Under constant pressure from the Irish blitz – solid in defence – and put in one magnificent try-saving tackle on Jacob Stockdale.

11. Sean Maitland – 5

Badly exposed defensively a couple of times by Andrew Conway. Ran aggressively from broken play situations but otherwise offered little threat with ball in hand.

10. Finn Russell – 5

Under intense and unremitting pressure throughout, he simply could not stamp his authority on the game, hard though he tried. His hands were good but his kicking was mixed.

9. Greig Laidlaw – 5

Though working on short rations, he could perhaps have done more to steady the ship in the first half. Did manage to take it through a few more phases early in the second half – by which time, however, the game was lost.

#RWC2019: Ireland deliver a brutal lesson to hapless Scotland in tournament opener

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1. Allan Dell – 5

Not particularly prominent in the loose – and never looked totally comfortable against Tadhg Furlong.

2. Stuart Mcinally – 6

Worked hard and kept the line-out together in very difficult circumstance. Bad defensive error led to the James Ryan’s opening try, while it looked as though he had done enough to prevent Rory Best’s try.

3. WP Nel – 5

Had a difficult afternoon in thescrum with Cian Healy and got no help from the referee. Another player who failed to make the required impact in the loose.

4. Grant Gilchrist – 5

Put in a full shift but should have done more defensively in lead up to the James Ryan’s opening try.

5. Jonny Gray – 5

Put himself about but consumed by the overall inertia.

6. John Barclay – 5

Battered by Irish aggression, he just could not get himself into the game, and was left lonely and exposed when Fraser Brown replaced Hamish Watson.

7. Hamish Watson – 5

The game was maybe already lost by the time he was crocked in 37th minute — but any hopes of recovery disappeared up the tunnel behind him. An anxious wait in store to find out how serious the knee injury is.

8. Ryan Wilson – 6

Got stuck in – and was effective at the line-out – but spilled the high ball which led to Andrew Conway’s try.

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16. Fraser Brown –  5

It is a huge ask to come of the bench and play out of position and he gave it his best shot in very difficult circumstances.

17. Gordon Reid – 5

Game was over by the time the time he came on for Allan Dell in the 62nd minute, but he held his own.

18. Simon Berghan – 5

Did okay after coming on for WP Nell in 52nd minute.

19. Scott Cummings – 5

Relative novice didn’t do anything wrong in his awkward 65th minute cameo for Johnny Gray.

20. Blade Thomson – 5

Showed willing with a couple of strong carries when he came on for John Barclay in 65th minute.

21. Ali Price – 6

Brought some energy onto the park when he replaced Greig Laidlaw in 62nd minute.

22. Chris Harris – 6

Fought hard to make something happen after he replaced Duncan Taylor in 65th minute, and his neat break and offload to Hogg near the end which prised Ireland open and led to Tadhg Beirne’s yellow-card.

23. Darcy Graham – 6

Caught the eye both in attack and defence once he came on as a replacement for Tommy Seymour in 55th minute. He has a spark which was something Scotland lacked through most of this game.

#RWC2019: Ireland deliver a brutal lesson to hapless Scotland in tournament opener


About David Barnes 4026 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The 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.


  1. They had 100 days to prepare for this game, and that was the outcome!!?? It seems to me they knew quarter’s was the end of the road (NZ or SA), so why bother?. On another note, this seems a continuation of the U20 horror movie. I wish, I really do, one day the SRU would realise the only way to be successful is investing on grassroots rugby, clubs specially. Instead of hunting Scottish qualify players (aka 2nd/3rd choices in SA, NZ etc etc ) . Coach coaches for real, not to tick another box… I guess these are topics the SRU don’t want to see because take time and might lose some coins. Why have coins if you can’t have a successful product?!?!

  2. Yes, it really is difficult to explain not only Ireland but several of our recent performances. The head coach himself had no plausible explanation, which to me says he is just not the man for the job. Big changes have to be made in coaching staff and, dare I say it, at boardroom level. Don’t think any of the starting 15 earned a 6, maybe a couple of the subs.

  3. Gregor Townsend Out, since stern vern left our squad hasn’t changed if anything we’ve developed depth in positions that perhaps before we didn’t have.

  4. How was Mcinally a 6? He was posted missing as a leader on the park then slipped the press conference.

    Made several missed tackles yet gets 6 because he threw in a few times at the line out..

    On the pitch it starts with the captain and he was Awol. Should have been 3.

  5. The figures say it all AVERAGE! Is that not what we are most of the time?
    Maybe some will see it less than that but let’s not take anything away from an Irish side that knew the game plan! Next??

  6. Serious to goodness, what do they need to do to register less than 5. Not one of them deserves half way marks. Not one.

    • Well said. What an abject performance, from the whole team. Something is seriously wrong within the set-up. These performances are now the norm. Most disappointed by the lack of aggression and passion. Back row is abysmal considering the physical attributes of JG and GC. Barclay and Taylor not fit. Wilson not an eight. Seymour has also regressed. McInally was looking shell shocked and couldn’t muster a word. What’s going on but more concerning, why?

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