15. Blair Kinghorn – 7
A mixed bag from the full-back who should have scored a try in the second minute of the match and will be relieved it didn’t matter in the end. He kicked turnover ball away in the opening 40 when the Tongan defence was at sixes and sevens and threw one forward pass after the break but he also picked some brilliant lines in the second half, scored a try and came close to grabbing a second (but for Pita Akhi). He made 109 metres with the ball in hand, second only to Duhan, while proving just how quickly he covers the ground!
14. Kyle Steyn – 7
A good showing by the ‘other’ big Saffa winger who took his try well, went looking for work and nailed all the basics.
13. Chris Harris – 6
This was Harris’ big chance to stake a claim for the 13 shirt that was once his by right but he simply didn’t do enough to make it stick. He almost scored a first half try and we know he makes his tackles but he might have been better off starting on the bench and making a late appearance when the game was breaking up.
12. Sione Tuipulotu – 7
Very much back to his old self against the land of his father. The entire midfield was granted the luxury of time to weave their magic and the Aussie/Tongan/Scot had one of his most convincing games. He carried hard, defended well and Scotland were at their most threatening when he popped up as first receiver with Russell looping in behind him to open up numerous options.
11. Duhan van der Merwe – 7
Duhan started badly, losing all the collisions and failing to prevent Salesi Piutau’s offload that sent Solomone Kata over the Scottish line, but he improved markedly, took his try well and almost had a second. He made George Horne’s score on 53 minutes, enjoyed that long run straight from the kick off (following Kinghorn’s try) and ended up man-of-the-match.
10. Finn Russell – 8
A little wayward off the tee but Russell kicked superbly from hand throughout, including one 50-22 in the opening 40, pinning Tongan deep inside their own half. His distribution was back to its best with the time and space afforded the Scottish playmaker by the Tongan defence. He expertly picked out Kinghorn’s clever angle for the full-back’s try. Missed a try-saving tackle on the man mountain that is Tameifuna but I am not convinced that that was a fair contest.
9. Ben White – 6
A mixed bag from the little scrummy who still hasn’t found his Six Nations form. One excellent break in the first half only resulted in a Tongan turnover and he kicked well from hand, but you can’t help but feel there is more to come.
1. Rory Sutherland – 6
Conceded an early scum penalty which gave Tonga their opening points but was pretty dominant thereafter. He also made one excellent line break in the first half. He offers a dynamic alternative to Pierre Schoeman, will Townsend take it?
2. George Turner – 7
Much improved line-out so credit to the hooker for some accurate arrows. Turner also popped up with the first try of the match following a driven maul where the hooker showed oodles of patience. A good performance.
3. Zander Fagerson – 6
A long shift from the big fella, Fagerson played for about three quarters of the match. The tight-head did his set-piece duty but was perhaps a little quieter than we might have expected around the park.
4. Richie Gray – 7
An utterly reliable line-out option where Gray dominated, the big guy also carried with conviction when the opportunity arose.
5. Scott Cummings – 7
He did the needful at the sidelines and was prominent all over the park but the penalty he conceded early in the second half was a black mark, leading indirectly to Ben Tameifuma’s try.
6. Jamie Ritchie – 5
Impossible not to feel sympathy for the Scotland skipper as he had his bell rung late in the first half and was never seen again. It looked like a nailed down red to me but not to the match officials. A couple of wayward passes count against him but no one questions his endeavour.
7. Rory Darge – 7
By his own high standards, the openside flanker was relatively quiet with the ball in hand but still managed to score a good try in the opening half and fulfil his defensive duties admirably making 15 tackles in all, the most of any Scot.
8. Jack Dempsey – 7
The Aussie eight started slowly but came onto a good game, improving as the match progressed. He almost scored in the first half and his footwork/vision sent Duhan on that long mazy run in the second half which probably should have resulted in a try around the 70 minute mark.
16. Ewan Ashman – 6
Came on, played well but threw one squint throw at the sidelines.
17. Pierre Schoeman – 5
Late replacement for Rory Sutherland. He won a scrum pen but also conceded one at a breakdown.
18. WP Nel – 5
Late arrival for Zander. Solid.
19. Sam Skinner – 6
Played well when he got the opportunity.
20. Matt Fagerson – 6
He was an early replacement for skipper Ritchie and proved his usual industrious self throughout.
21. George Horne – 7
The little scrummy is a real asset late in the game, scoring a try and bringing heaps of energy but his big mouth cost Scotland 10 yards and referees watch videos as well as players.
22. Huw Jones – 6
Late replacement for Harris but didn’t contribute a huge amount. He lost the ball in contact following Duhan’s long run.
23. Darcy Graham – 7
Perhaps stung by criticism of his performance against South Africa the little winger was a bundle of energy when he replaced Steyn. He scored a cracking try and was always front and centre of the action.