15. Blair Kinghorn – 9
“The king is dead – long live the king!” Excellent game – rock solid in defence – dangerous in attack. Great pass to put Kyle Steyn in for his first try. Blistering pace down the middle regularly set alarm bells ringing in the French defence. Boxed clever with his restarts.
14. Kyle Steyn – 9
Maybe his best game in a Scotland shirt. Took both his tries brilliantly. Constantly looking for work both sides of the ball. Great effort to check Gabin Villiers in the lead up to Olly Smith’s tremendous try-saving tackle. Darcy Graham will need to stay on his toes.
13. Huw Jones – 8
Tidy and contained for the first hour, working hard in tandem with Sione Tuipulotu to neutralise Gaël Fickou and Jonathan Danty – then exploded into the game with a searing break to set-up Duhan van der Merwe’s try – and followed it up with two or three chirpy carries which went a long way towards changing the general tenor of the game in Scotland’s favour.
12. Sione Tuipulotu – 7
The game did not go his way, but worked tirelessly with Jones to neatly restrain what is arguably the best centre combination in world rugby, and he was always there to give Finn Russell the crucial out-ball.
11. Duhan van der Merwe – 7
Hot and cold. Made some excellent yards but his ball retention was not great – nor, at times, was his body language.
10. Finn Russell – 9
World class. Skill, vision, courage and commitment. The main man in his natural habitat – pulling the strings and happy to mix it. Precise imaginative use of the boot, wonderful hands with each pass demanding an answer and happy to stick his body on the line should the need arose – most memorably, when 23 stone Uini Atonio came calling.
9. Ali Price – 7
Picked up a costly yellow-card when he gave away a needless penalty after the referee had issued a general warning – but there is still life in the old dog. The box-kick is going to be critical against South Africa and Ireland and there is no better proponent of that art. And Finn Russell does not appear to be particularly inconvenienced by his service.
1. Pierre Schoeman – 7
More or less kept the scrum honest in the face of the gargantuan French onslaught – and he worked hard around the park, carrying strongly – but his performance will be remembered for his nightmare knock-on straight from the kick-off at the start of second half which swung the game dramatically in France’s favour.
2. George Turner – 8
55 minutes hard in Julien Marchand’s face. Busy, strong, uncompromising. Superb throw to the tail at the first line-out sparked the initial surge and set the tone for the splendid darts which were to follow to help establish something like parity at the line-out.
3. WP Nel – 7
A tough night at the pit face but he met the challenge with typical insouciance. What we got was what it says on the tin – and more than enough to confirm his current hard-earned status as second man in.
4. Richie Gray – 8
Just about held his own against the formidable Cameron Woki at the line-out and contributed handsomely around the park. A careless penalty for not going through the gate early on, but a big steal when the pressure was on just before half-time.
5. Grant Gilchrist – 8
Another big game from a big player – the donkey’s donkey, grinding away beneath the radar.
6. Jamie Ritchie – 9
Back with a bang as he led the charge against the much-vaunted French back row. A born warrior, he covered every inch of Stade Geoffroy-Guichard and fought tooth and nail for every ball. A born leader – but his referee-comms might still be a work in process.
7. Rory Darge – 8
The coming man stepped up to the plate in impressive style in the most inimical of environments. Aggressive and quick to the root of matters as all great No 7s must be, he has left Gregor Townsend with a tough call when the live bullets start flying next month. Took his try very well.
8. Jack Dempsey – 9
A monumental game – influential and inspirational – completely overshadowing La Rochelle legend Gregory Alldritt in what was maybe the key confrontation of the match. Explosive ball in hand – and very much the steadying influence when the big French scrums came thundering in.
16. Stuart McInally – 8
Slipped seamlessly into the turmoil of the front-row after replacing george Turner on 55 minutes and more than held his own there, whilst putting himself about purposefully. One bad line-out – but it looked as though it was maybe down to the call rather than the throw.
17. Rory Sutherland – 7
Arrived in the game at the same time as the giant Antonio with 25 minutes to go, and though he got caught out to concede the fateful penalty in the last scrum, he generally looked very comfortable. A couple of good carries. Injured by an off-the-ball cheap shot just on the final whistle, but should be okay to be in Wednesday final squad selection.
18. Javan Sebastian – 8
Very much looked the part in both tight and loose – a big, and somewhat unexpected, bonus.
19. Scott Cummings – 7
Slotted in comfortably for the final quarter of an hour, as one would expect, with a couple of good takes and one big carry – though involved in the troublesome call when the chips were down.
20. Sam Skinner – 7
Got stuck in as per usual but little opportunity to show, although his pass to set up van der Merwe’s try was excellent.
21. Josh Bayliss – 5
No real chance to get make an impact during seven late minutes..
22. George Horne – 8
Big impact. Upped the tempo dramatically just when it was needed and a beautiful a prod through for Kyle Steyn’s second try.
23. Ollie Smith – 7
An impressive cameo with a bone crushing tackle on Gabin Villiers saving a certain try.