Scotland v Fiji: Scotland player ratings

A frustrating match for Gregor Townsend's side

Scotland winger Darcy Graham was official man-of-the-match versus Fiji. Image: © Craig Watson -
Scotland winger Darcy Graham was official man-of-the-match versus Fiji. Image: © Craig Watson -

15. Stuart Hogg – 7

Solid rather than spectacular, but that booming boot is still a big asset and his threat with ball in hand keeps opponents guessing. Picked up a cumulative yellow-card straight after Botia’s try, when referee Nic Berry lost patience with Scotland’s continual offsides. It was a shame the referee had such a significant role in this game being a non-spectacle.

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14. Darcy Graham – 7

Official man-of-the-match. The stats tell us that his 90 metres made (including five tackle-breaks) off 11 carries eclipses everyone apart from his club-mate and Fijian No 8 Viliame Mata, who contributed 102 metres off 14 carries. Brave as ever under the high ball and in the tackle. Was clobbered on a number of occasions by Fijians but wouldn’t stay down. Late sin-binning was incidental.

13. Chris Harris – 6

The game didn’t really flow his way and gave away a penalty for a reckless clear-out in first half, but as solid as ever without the ball and kept the dangerous Waisea Nayacalevu in check with one particularly praise-worthy defensive read and thumping tackle, plus threw a lovely long miss-pass which set up van der Merwe’s try.

12. Cam Redpath – 6

Worked hard to make things happen on the occasion of his first cap at Murrayfield but wasn’t his day. One moment in the second half when he jinked away from four Fijian tacklers but made zero yards seemed to sum up Scotland’s collective failings. Had a late try chalked off due to a knock-on by Jack Dempsey at the start of the move.

11. Duhan van der Merwe – 7

Big, strong, runs hard, often with tunnel vision. Performed almost exactly as expected. Took his try well and claimed a couple of high balls with encouraging assurance.


10. Adam Hastings – 6

Slipped out of Kalaveti Ravouvou’s uncharacteristically weak tackle to score important try on the stroke of half-time but a generally unconvincing display before going off with whiplash and knee injury following a monster hit from Leone Rotuisolia on 42 minutes. Some aimless kicks and Scotland played an awful lot of rugby as sitting ducks in front of Fiji’s aggressive tacklers. Looks like a major doubt for next week’s All Blacks game.

9. Ali Price – 5

There was a blast from the past in the second minute when he earned his team a penalty plus a chance to play for 10 minutes against 14 men when his quick tap penalty prompted an early tackle from Leone Rotuisolia, but there was little spark from the scrum-half thereafter, until he was replaced by Ben White on 51 metres, who was far more lively.

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1. Pierre Schoeman – 6

Four carries and 13 yards made are disappointing stats by this guy’s high standards, while nine tackles in the first half gives an indication of the general pattern of play during that period. Was replaced by Rory Sutherland with just under half an hour to play.

2. George Turner – 5

Muscled over for an early try and his usual combative self for 31 minutes before suffering a shoulder injury.

3. Zander Fagerson – 6

Scrum was a mixed bag. Was penalised for boring in when Scotland were under serious pressure midway through the first half, but got a big nudge on just before the break which helped create the space for Adam Hastings’ try.

4. Richie Gray – 7

A fine return to the international scene as a totemic figure in a dominant home line-out performance, as well as 15 tackles with no misses and a couple of telling runs which made good ground, including a rare gallop in open prairie during the lead-up to Ewan Ashman getting over the line in the second-half (although the replacement hooker couldn’t get the ball grounded).

5. Grant Gilchrist – 6

Some good tidying up work which was helpful in a scrappy match. Made 12 tackles and worked well with Gray in Scotland’s improved line-out performance, but not quite as imposing as we know he can be. Replaced by Jonny Gray on the hour mark.

6. Jamie Ritchie – 6

Kept plugging away on a frustrating day for the home back-row with the match rarely developing the sort of flow which would allow this hard-working triumvirate to impose themselves.

7. Hamish Watson – 6

A quiet match by his own high standards and the need for more of a carrying threat in the back-row was perhaps the reason behind his unusually early departure, replaced by Jack Dempsey on 51 metres.

8. Matt Fagerson – 7

Awesome work-rate on both sides of the ball. Made an immense 23 tackles. Stood his ground in a hard-hitting battle against Viliame Mata, his powerful opposite number.


16. Ewan Ashman – 6

Early replacement for George Turner and made his case to start next weekend against the All Blacks. Carried hard and his set-piece stacked up. Got over the line just before the hour mark but couldn’t get the ball down.

17. Rory Sutherland – 6

Recovered from a high hit to play a leading role as Scotland’s scrum squeezed Fiji out of the game during the final quarter.

18. Murphy Walker – 6

The 23-year-old can be fairly satisfied with how his debut went, linking up with his old Scotland under-20s team-mate Ashman as well as Sutherland in a dominant front-row.

19. Jonny Gray – 5

Replaced Gilchrist for the final quarter. Won’t enjoy rewatching his loose pass to Kinghorn at the end in the team de-brief.

20. Jack Dempsey – 6

Added energy off the bench for last half hour, won a jackal penalty and carried well.

21. Ben White – 6

Brought some buzz, scored the last try, and must be in the frame to start next week.

22. Blair Kinghorn – 6

Arrived on the scene early in the second half and looked to get things moving with limited success. Nailed a touchline conversion of van der Merwe’s try.

23. Sione Tuipulotu – 5

Got 11 minutes in place of Harris at the end without much more joy than the man he replaced. Brought the curtain down on the match with a thumping tackle on Waisea Nayacalevu.

Scotland v Fiji: Gregor Townsend tight-lipped about potential Finn Russell recall


  1. Scotland just look well off the pace, they kick the ball and opposition gather and run 15 metres before tackled, so many penalties, obviously not learnt from the 6 nations! The games haven’t been entertaining and weren’t worth the 55 quid, think it’s time for a few changes on management

  2. It would be good to include a coach/ manager rating – there are many times when a player’s rating has been influenced by the game plan

  3. What would happen if Finn Russell was unavailable for other reasons,e.g long-term injury? Would Townsend not be criticised for failing to develop a back-up to Hastings,in this case Kinghorn,or just rely on Hogg’s perceived ability to fill in at 10 or an emergency call up for Jaco van der Walt? Thompson by all accounts needs more game time before stepping up to International level so what other known options does he have? Duncan Weir?

    • You miss the point, it is because he isn’t looking for an existing back up 10 and trying to shoehorn Kinghorn into that position over the past months that is causing the controversy.

    • But he’s not long term injured he’s available and one of the best 10’s in the world, you put your differences a side and you pick your best available Squad, look at Jonny sexton at 38 still going strong at 10 as Ireland haven’t got a better 10!!

  4. Yes a fairly boring game. If we are looking for positives ; Sutherland and Ashman changed our performance in the scrum. It was that which allowed us to stay in their half for most of the second period.

  5. Another forgotten man is Matt Scott,has been playing well for Leicester Tigers and deserves the 12 or 13 shirt.

  6. 15 smith
    14 graham
    13 harris
    12 tuipolotu
    11 Duhan VDM
    10 rusell
    09 Horne
    08 Dempsey
    07 M.Fagerson
    06 Ritche
    05 R.Gray
    04 J,Gray
    03 Z.Fagerson
    02 Ashman
    01 Schoeman

    16 Turner 17 Sutherland 18 Walker 19 Ghilchrist 20 watson 21 price 22 Hastings 23 Hogg

    • Would be fun to see George Horne in there!
      When will the squad be announced?
      I’ll be eagerly waiting here in Canada.

    • I’d definitely say so. Russell/Kinghorn could potentially work better than Smith/ Farrell. Typical that Townsend has tried every daft combo but not that one.

      • It doesn’t work, you need redpath or Hutchison at 12, you need more game changes you need to keep defence guessing all the time, defence is massive in winning games and when you have game changers at the blink of an eye can make something happen out of nothing is what you need to unlock a good defence

    • I was thinking the same thing. Look at George North for Wales, and Jordie Barrett for NZ, both big guys like Kinghorn, who moved into centre from other positions that Kinghorn has played in the past (wing/FB). The standoff skills Kinghorn has learned would be useful at 12. He brings something athletically, and I think we should try to fit both him and Finn in the team.

  7. Townsend – 3. Promising start bur very poor second half. support lost faith, interest and trust. no spark, lacking pace, inspiration. 5 years of talk and nothing to back it up. a wins a win. Mike Blair in. Scott Robinson in (haha) whatever it is, Townsend out.

    • I agree, think it’s time for a change i was never a fan of his appointment in the first place, Townsend should of been aloud to leave Glasgow and gain more experience else where, would of set him up better when he eventually took the Scotland job.

  8. Harris will start against the All Blacks because his defence is huge and frankly we will need it. Not surprising that it was his performance off the ball that was noted here, for it is usually always the case. As we know, he offers considerably less going forward and Bennett is much stronger in that regard. Redpath will get the 12 jersey, being one of Toony’s automatic picks and a creative talent that will blossom further. Provided he stays off the treatment table long enough. Playing him outside of Russell would surely light the touch paper though, with Hastings on the bench in the event of a misfire from Finn – or Hogg for that matter (Smith also shows great promise at 15). The crux of our problem in attack is that the crucial 10-12-13 axis changes just about every game – and that is largely down to Townsend, who apparently doesn’t believe in teams that get into a groove through a consistent – rather than wildly erratic – selection policy. Of all the experiments, I’m surprised that he hasn’t tried the Hutchinson-Dingwall combo that works so well at club level. Those boys know each other inside out and frankly a lad called Fraser Dingwall playing in an England jersey just doesn’t sound right to me. He must be getting the message by now that while he hovers in and out of their squad, he will get few games for the red rose – and his thoughts must surely be turning elsewhere, even as we speak. That said, I don’t want to give Toony even more options to dither over. He’s already driven himself dizzy enough with the all the circles he’s been turning these past five years, years that have taken us from ‘total attack’ to total shambles. Finally, there is much talk of Fin Smith and I watched him playing for the Saints this weekend. He is already faultless off the tee when the chips are down – aged just 20 – but I imagine his first preference would be for England and talk of him putting on a blue jersey is fanciful right now. Unless of course he doesn’t back himself to dislodge Marcus Smith, Twickenham’s resident boules d’or for the foreseeable future. The path to the Scotland 10 slot would be considerably less blocked for him, especially given Townsend’s unforgiveable personal grudge against Russell. So many permutations, but to be honest more than anything I’d rather we got the team settled if we want to enjoy success of any kind. And while I admire so much about the lad, that doesn’t mean Kinghorn at 10. Not at this level.

    • RE: Fin Smith, chat I’ve heard is that there is a pretty good chance of him opting for Scotland. He’s grown up in England but his whole family is Scottish and his grandfather a Scotland and Lions cap. He is on Eddie’s radar but I don’t think if he was giving Scotland short shrift the rumours would be so strong tbh. Faces a new coach after the World Cup in either case

  9. Ashman was my MOTM. As said above carried hard, line out functioned well and only slight blemish was not dotting down over the line, if indeed that was an error in technique. What I really liked was his link play from the line out, looping round and providing an extra man in the back line, really neat passing. I would give at least an extra mark for his performance.

  10. Can Townsend not coach Duhan to carry the ball in his left hand when making a break down the left touchline to avoid the opposition targeting the ball and leaving his right hand free for hand off purposes?

  11. Can’t see Townsend dropping the likes of Price and Watson given it’s the All Blacks next. Personally I’d have White and Crosbie in for that pair but doubt it’ll happen.


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