15. Sean Maitland– 8 out of 10
Stuart who? A 60-yards gallop to the line, out-flanking several grasping Australians (admittedly they were front five forwards), put Scotland back on the front foot after a shaky start to the second half. Maybe he doesn’t quite dominate games like that man Hogg, but he provides a pretty decent alternative. Scotland’s top carrier with 141 metres gained.
14. Tommy Seymour – 6
It has been a difficult autumn. Will have nightmares about the dropped pass which was scooped up by Bernard Foley and fed to Tavita Kuridrani for Australia’s second try. Luckily it didn’t matter in the final reckoning. Also missed a bad one-on-one tackle early on and a few other slip-ups – but he has enough credit in the bank to withstand a few less than glittering displays.
13. Huw Jones – 8
Skinned his man for Scotland’s fourth try. Made it look easy. Threatened every time he got his hands on the ball. Runs great angles and has the ability to beat an opponent on a sixpence. A class act and one of the many reasons why no team in international rugby will be able to switch off against Scotland in the foreseeable future.
12. Peter Horne – 7
A big influence in Scotland’s touchline to touchline attacking exploits in the first half – especially as Hogg was not there to come in at second-receiver. The team missed Dunbar’s power and abrasiveness in defence at times, but were so dominant in other areas – with Horne a key component – that it didn’t really matter in the end.
11. Byron McGuigan– 9
Couldn’t have gone much better after a late call into the starting fifteen just before kick-off. Some powerful runs early on. Took his try well in the end, although slightly wayward dribbling meant that he ended up seven yards from the left touchline rather than under the posts. Nearly got his second just two minutes later chasing his own kick ahead but Will Genia managed to – just – beat him to the ball as it bounced back into the in-goal area. Did get his second and Scotland’s fifth with a relatively straight-forward finish on the hour mark. Denied a possible hat-trick at the death when Beale got across and slapped the ball out of play before the wnger could slide in for the score.
10. Finn Russell – 7
A couple of shaky kicks early on, including a shocking overcooked penalty into the corner which killed an excellent attacking opportunity for the Scots, but not the kind of player to let that sort of thing upset his afternoon. Continued searching for ways to torment the Australian defence with joyous inhibition. He certainly won’t die wondering.
9. Ali Price – 8
Great strength, determination and self-belief to scramble over from close range for his try just after Sekope Sio’s red-card and just before half-time. Sniping runs kept the Aussies guessing.
1. Darryl Marfo – 7
Put himself to good use around the park, although one dropped ball derailed a promising attack. Gave way to Bhatti soon after the break. It has been a big month and he has done brilliantly.
2. Stuart McInally – 8
Another busy performance to cement his position as the hooker in possession of the number two jersey and it is going to take some going from his rivals to dislodge him. Scotland’s top tackler with 18. Having been rplaced in the 57th minutes he had to come back on for the last ten minutes after Brown’s head-knock and finished off a fine individual Autumn series with Scotland’s eighth and final try at the back of a completely dominant line-out drive.
3. Simon Berghan – 7
He is what he is. Didn’t let Scotland down, but the scrum was not particularly convincing during the first half and Fagerson offered more dynamism around the park.
4. Grant Gilchrist – 8
A great tackle on Kurtley Beale just before the half hour mark saved McGuigan’s blushes after he had come off his wing but missed his man. Back to his best and the Scotland coaching team are going to have a few tough decisions to make when all their second-row options are fit.
5. Jonny Gray – 8
Two tries in two games – is he in danger of becoming a show pony? Not bloody likely. He is still the hardest working carthorse in the yard when it comes to getting through the less glamorous stuff.
6. John Barclay – 9
Entirely appropriate that ‘Captain Fantastic’ should power through the middle of three Australians and over the chalk with six minutes to go. As the Aussies say, he’s got ‘ticker’. He’s also smart, a good ball player, adaptable and great over the ball.
7. Hamish Watson – 9
A sensational steel at a maul under the shadow of the posts when the Australian’s were launching one last effort to rescue this game [in what proved to be his last contribution to the match] summed up this player’s value to the team. Was up against arguably the best openside in the world, and came out well on top.
8. Ryan Wilson – 8
Concerns were expressed earlier in the series about a lack of ballast in the back-row, but when Wilson is in this sort of form it feels like a bona fide giant is at the base of the scrum.
– Replacements –
16. Fraser Brown– 6
A rather brief comeback. Replaced McInally on 57 minutes and came off after a bump on the head in the 70th minute.
17. Jamie Bhatti – 7
Missed out on a try last weekend due to Kieran Read’s sneaky slap down and a strange refereeing decision, and was clearly determined to make up for that here, launching a bulldozing charge up the middle of the park soon after taking the field, which set in motion the chain of events which led to Gray’s try. Had a mother good carry a few moments later.
18. Zander Fagerson – 7
One big carry and provided some important energy when the starting fifteen were beginning to tire.