RWC23: Scotland v Romania: Scotland player ratings

Darcy Graham, Ben Healy and Hamish Watson star in big win

Hamish Watson celebrates scoring Scotland's opening try versus Tonga. Image: © Craig Watson -
Hamish Watson celebrates scoring Scotland's opening try versus Tonga. Image: © Craig Watson -

15. Ollie Smith – 8

Confident and comfortable at the back and a consistent threat ball-in-hand. Exercised tremendous skill-set and game awareness for his try, collecting ball deep in his own half, breaking through the Romanian defence and weaving his way up-field, then when hauled down just short of the line he released the ball, picked it up again and lunged over.

RWC23: Scotland v Romania: big win tees up D-day in Paris next Saturday

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14. Darcy Graham – 9

Dynamite, exploding all over the park – he wrote his name all over the game – constantly looking for the ball and finding space in the tightest of corners. A man very much in form, he has made it all but impossible for Gregor Townsend to leave him out of his starting line-up for the Ireland game., Aaving notched his 24th international try to match Tony Stanger and Ian Smith total, could he grab another four against Ireland to overtake Stuart Hogg, and become Hawick’s all-time record international try scorer?

13. Chris Harris – 8

After a difficult couple of years, he showed that he is now very much back in the groove that took him into the 2021 Lions Test side. Strong offensive defence, a couple of great rips and he ran the ball strongly, particularly in the lead up to Graham’s third try.

12. Cam Redpath – 8

Looked a class act. Strong, dangerous on the ball, great on his feet and links well – with a couple of powerful counter rucks thrown in for good measure. Will surely have a part to play next week.

11. Kyle Steyn – 7

Needed a big one to eclipse Darcy and make the starting line-up against Ireland, but it just did not happen for him, hard though he tried to find his way into the game.


10. Ben Healy – 9

A shaky start — missing touch from two penalties and dropping a straight-forward high ball, but he kept his cool and worked his way into the game. He controlled the tempo beautifully, kicking the ball a long way from hand and making Harris’ try with an immaculate left-footed cross-field chip to Cameron Redpath. He shrugged off a couple of big hits and shop-windowed his running skills, dancing in for his try leaving the last Romanian defender for dead … and his 11 conversions out of 11 attempts was ultra-impressive.

9. Ali Price – 7

There is life in the old dog yet – tidy and competitive – and raring, no doubt, to have a go at the Irish.

1. Jamie Bhatti – 7

Scrum was sound and he worked hard around the park – but he will be embarrassed by two careless dropped balls … and disappointed to have missed out on two try scoring opportunities.

2. Ewan Ashman – 7

Missed his man at the first line-out but got it sorted immediately. Scrummed well and as lively as usual around the paddock.

3. Javan Sebastian – 7

Caught out badly at first scrum in the second-half but otherwise fine – and looked good ball-in-hand.

4. Sam Skinner – 8

Put himself about enthusiastically coming out top of the Scottish tackle count with 13. Beginning to look very much like the genuine article.

5. Grant Gilchrist – 8

Strong, direct, led from the front – and slotted comfortably into the middle of the line-out.

6. Luke Crosbie – 7

Grafted away selflessly under the radar. Finished very strongly. When he hits them … they stay hit.

7. Hamish Watson – 9

He wants his jersey back – and he’s not fussy who knows it. Exploded into the game, bursting onto Cameron Redpath’s pass in the ninth minute for the try which set the tone of the contest. Fantastic work-rate, running great support lines and bouncing like a pinball in and out of attempted tackles. Only blemish on an huge effort was a slack tackle on the powerful Jason Tomane midway through the second half, but all in all, he has left Gregor Townsend with a sweet choice in the back-row.

8. Matt Fagerson – 8

Another big shift from the unsung hero.



16. Johnny Matthews – 8

(for Ashman in 59th minute)

Saved a try and scored a try on his international debut – you can’t ask for much more than that!

17. Rory Sutherland – 7

(for Bhatti in 59th minute) 

Did his bit. Totally comfortable in the scrum and got about.

18. WP Nel – 7

(for Sebastian in 59th minute)

A walk in the park.

19. Scott Cummings – 7

(for Gilchrist in 59th minute)

A great steal which led to Johnny Matthews try.

20. Rory Darge – 7

(for Watson in 65th minute) 

Caught the eye with a couple of typically dynamic plays.

21. George Horne – 8

(for Price in 55th minute)

Sharp as a tack.

22. Huw Jones – 7

(for Harris in 65th minute)

A cameo role.

23. Blair Kinghorn – 8

(for Ollie Smith in 59th minute)

Put on the burners to make Johnny Matthews try

RWC23: Scotland v Romania: big win tees up D-day in Paris next Saturday

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. I’m not sure about Healy and Redpath together – there appeared to be a lot of lateral running where they ran out of space and gained little or no ground – how fast is Healy over 5m ?

    • Perhaps because despite his genius play and tries he blew a few with white line fever. He is a star but he ain’t perfect

    • It was a 10 performance. I watched from the stands and he was a class above, it looked like he was toying with them and there wasn’t a thing they could do. Like watching an under 18 game where you have the player that’s just that bit better than the rest. Rugby’s easy when you’re on the front foot and Ireland will be a different proposition.

  2. I think we’d be hard pushed to give Healy and Watson 9s. Healy had a nightmare start with two missed penalties to touch and a dropped high ball. He did grow into the game, but to mark him one lower than perfect is silly. Equally, Watson started strongly but did get quieter as the game went on. These marks out of ten exercise are arbitrary, but let’s be honest about the level of performance and also the opposition.

  3. Matthews must have enjoyed that. Nice little cameo. Nailed his lineouts, try saved, try scored, try assist. Win!

  4. Not sure about the ratings for the Forwards considering Romania seemed to cope against them without too much of a problem, mind you grunt and effort was Romania’s best weapon. Other than that I thought 9 for Healy was a bit strong perhaps 7* considering his conversion efforts, but as ever other views are available.

    • Thought Healy showed if he is to be Russell’s successor in time, he has a decent running and passing game that we can maintain our attacking DNA. He’ll benefit from time in the saddle at Edinburgh.

      Forwards could have mauled Romania off the park if needed as they showed in a number of occasions. Instead their role was to secure fast and clean ball at the breakdown which they duly did. Set piece wasn’t flawless but good enough, it was a decent showing from the pack. Tough decision for backrow, I wonder if Scotland will go 6-2?

      • You may be correct with more game time however he doesn’t seem to have the instinctive flair of Russell.

      • The question is how much time will Healy get given we have the issue of four good backs to fit into three. Does the BK10 experiment continue or do we drop Bofelli?

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