Scotland v France: Scotland player ratings

A tough day at the office for the hosts as they were out-classed in almost every area by rampant Les Bleus

Scotland centre Sione Tuipulotu is swallowed up by two French tacklers. Image: © Craig Watson -
Scotland centre Sione Tuipulotu is swallowed up by two French tacklers. Image: © Craig Watson -

15. Stuart Hogg – 5

A frustrating afternoon trying to escape the straight jacket Sean Edwards had designed to keep him in check. Nobody will be more aware than he that his dropped pass with the line at his mercy just before half time was the watershed moment – and that it needed a big statement to turn the tide – but try as he might he could not make it.

Scotland v France report: Les Bleus show their class with emphatic win

Scotland v France reaction: Townsend and Hogg focus on the positives

U20s 6N: France see red twice but still too strong for Scotland

14. Darcy Graham – 6

Lively, busy, brave, great in the air – a buzz went up in the crowd whenever he got into the game, but opportunity was rare.

13. Chris Harris – 7

Kept control of his channel – but was badly missed when he didn’t return following a failed HIA at half time. Should maybe have made more of the situation when Hogg spilled the ball just before half time.

12. Sione Tuipulotu – 6

Struggled to get into the game –  compromised by slow ball and the French line speed

11. Duhan van der Merwe – 6

Powerfully defiant –  much more pro-active than down in Wales  but still the odd defensive lapse.


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10. Finn Russell – 6

Under pressure from France’s press but kept the threat alive until being replaced on the hour mark.

9. Ali Price – 6

Not Antoine Dupont, but did a pretty good impression of him in the first half – then got himself caught behind the first ruck in the second half which cost Jonathon Danty’s try and ended the contest.


1. Pierre Schoeman – 7

Scrummed well against the giant Uini Atonio, worked hard about the park and, as always, very willing ball in hand.

2. Stuart McInally – 7

Solid scrum – great darts particularly to the tail – and busy around the edges

3. Zander Fagerson – 5

Kept the scrum together – but still does not appear to appreciate that unforced penalties kill.

4. Sam Skinner – 7

A heroic 80-minute shift against the odds – constantly forced onto the back foot  but fought until the very last play.

5. Grant Gilchrist – 6

An honest hour’s uncomplaining graft against a beast of an opponent. Worked hard to disrupt France’s line-out by any means necessary, with some success, although he over-stepped the mark a few times.

6. Nick Haining – 5

Struggled to establish a foot hold in the match against a very strong French back-row, and could maybe have done more when Gael Fickou scored before half time.

7. Rory Darge – 8

A star is born. Tremendous contribution at the breakdown, both side of the ball – carried aggressively throughout – and ran a great angle for his try. Ploughed a lonely furrow.

8. Magnus Bradbury – 5

Found it hard going, and never really got into the game.


16. George Turner – 5

Replaced McInally on 55 minutes. Showed willing – carried strongly –  solid in scrum  but a couple of wayward throws.

17. Oli Kebble – 4

Replaced Pierre Schoeman on 60 minutes. Filled a space  but looked as though he is towing a caravan around behind him.

18. WP Nel – 5

Replaced Zander Fagerson on 55 minutes. Held the scrum together as per his contract.

19. Jamie Hodgson – 5

Replaced Grant Gilchrist on 60 minutes. A tough time to make your Six Nations debut – but it can only get better.

20. Andy Christie – 5

Replaced Nick Haining on 43 minutes. Like Jamie Hodgson – a difficult debut.

21. Ben White – 5

HIA replacement early in second half then replaced Ali Price on 68 minutes. Looked lively enough whilst he was on.

22. Blair Kinghorn –  5

Replaced Finn Russell on 55 minutes. Hardly looks a convincing replacement at fly-half for Russell despite the scintillating broken-play break which led to Duhan van der Merwe’s consolation try.

23. Mark Bennett – 6

Replaced Chris Harris at half-time. A welcome return to international rugby – solid and competitive.

Scotland v France report: Les Bleus show their class with emphatic win


  1. It’s a conundrum supposed defensive stability or a guy (Bennett) who looks up and plays what is in front of him, indeed I’ve seen little defensive weakness from Bennett (and Jones’s supposed defensive weaknesses were bourne from a bbc analysis where he was somewhat ‘exposed’ by the world’s best centre at the time (Jonathan Davies)….I’ve always thought Jones’s attacking prowess far outweighed anything else…..

    • Now that he’s getting regular game time with Quins, Huw Jones is in impressive form. Both in attack and defence.

      It will be disappointing not to see him return for Dublin at the very least. On current evidence he would be good for one or more tries.

  2. I wouldn’t have given Finn Russell even a 2, he is out of shape, the French lunches are clearly to his liking?
    Ambling around the park, making little effort to get back and help out his teammates was very disappointing, he shines at Racing, clean quick ball, well protected so time to pick and choose his move, but under constant pressure playing for Scotland he struggles to make or find space. He looked less than interested to my eye, and I’ve watched the game twice.

    As for Ali Price, he is on the wain, and offers little, soooo predictable with little threat, yes the odd break, but contrast that with Vellacot who keeps the opposition honest and on there toes for the full 80 mins. Young White will get better, but really want to see Vellacott in action.

    Poor Kinghorn, it makes absolutely no sense to expose the lad at fly-half in the International arena, he is NOT an International fly-half, an excellent full-back or winger, but fly-half he’s not? Runout has it Hastings & Townsend don’t see eye to eye? Ooops perhaps a trend here?

    I’ve posted on this forum Oli Kebble’s contribution for Glasgow at Exeter, which was woeful, and no better for Scotland, yes he can prop up a scrum, but after that not much else. I fail to understand, even given injuries there are no other props available to Scotland?

    Apologies in advance, a bit gloomy I know but I’m struggling a bit with some squad deflections and the form of our so called star players?

  3. Harris is a problem since his excellent defence is let down by his poor handling and passing. For someone who “reads” the game so well defensively it is surprising he doesn’t when attacking – missed overlaps. I still would like to see Huw Jones in the team as he is our most effective attacking centre. Thought Darge was outstanding and felt we missed Watson. It was no coincidence that we shipped so many tries when Watson was not playing. Perhaps we will see both Watson and Darge start against Italy as intended for the French game. Thought the myth that we had strength in depth was exposed.

    • Who cares about your opinion, when it’s as inane a contribution as that? No one is forcing you to read this free content.

      • You may not have the intelligence to understand this but the comments section is there for people to make comments. If you think it is worth getting upset because a journalist gives a player 8 points instead of 9 then that’s fine but try to be adult enough to understand that other people don’t.

  4. We need a new coach. Sick to death of Scotland flinging the ball about in their own twenty-five. We are suffering big-time from believing we’re The All Blacks. And Russell. WTF!

  5. Rory Darge was a 9 all day long. It’s not often you would give MOTM to a player on the losing team , particularly in quite a heavy defeat however he was the best player on the pitch by a mile and should have been MOTM. DuPont as usual was excellent but Darge was better yesterday.
    Outstanding debut for the lad …
    Some of the other ratings are baffling … Zander Fagersons discipline is woeful and again a nonsensical penalty for needlessly and blatantly coming in from the side. As a professional player it is very concerning that he does not seem to understand the laws or is stupid enough to continually commit the same offence.

  6. Darge deserves a nine – eight is mean. Looking forwards rather than back, the next game is Italy. Not a true test for the team, but considering we will be looking to get it out of our systems by posting a big score then the attack needs to freshen up. Hutchinson and Bennett to start, with Hastings at very least featuring in the match day 23. Dobie on the bench, although he doesn’t get nearly enough game time at Glasgow – and that needs to change pretty sharpish.

  7. The Harris / Hogg 4 on 1 was “the game” 7 points and the French were behind at 1/2 time and the pressure was on, a quite inexplicable lack of basic rugby skills from Harris, Darge was magnificent. VDM was was excellent on the few occasions he had the ball. Tremendous lead up work (to the Kate try) by Kinghorn
    In hindsight ultimately well beaten by perhaps the best team in the world. Simply cannot fail to convert simple chances.

  8. Doubtless like others on this forum i must have been watching a different game for Chris Harris to be scored a 7. It is a conundrum, we defend better with him in the team but play better when he isn’t. Mark Bennett was superior when he came on and I didn’t notice any particular frailties in defence from him, those issues lay elsewhere.
    What to do with Blair Kinghorn? He was summed up by throwing a pass 5m in front of the intended recipient and along the ground under no pressure and a couple of minutes later a scything run to create a try. Not a distributor so keep him well away from 10 and if necessary put him on the wing.
    Cannot praise Rory Darge enough, was the heartbeat of the team against the best in the world on his first start. And if you look at DuPont’s scintillating break out of defence for the first try Darge was obstructed (not deliberately)from putting a tackle on him. What a start to his international career.

    • I’m a bit vague on the obstruction crossing rules when the player Dupod with the ball crosses behind his team mate to avoid a tackle from Darge, seemed intentional to me.

      • Aye the 4th French try was dubious too – the tackler was on the wrong side of the ruck and rolled into Price. The ref was giving almost nothing our way but some days that happens and we weren’t good enough to deal with it. It certainly wasn’t his fault we failed to score the 3 on 1!

  9. So many critics of Harris. I agree his rating above is too high. But like it or not, we DID miss him in the 2nd half – the points scored don’t reflect that, the first half tries, two were worldies compared to the dross easy scores of the 2nd half that his organisation might have (helped) prevent.

    Also, again, should have used the 3vs1 (wasn’t really 4 at that pace with a front row forward, was Price / Hoog / Harris), but blame also goes to Hogg for calling for it when you watch it back.

    Bennett should still get the chance against Italy, but I do feel for Harris, great defensive player (incl. a monster one arm tackle), but for Scotland he never really shows the same attacking prowess that he does for his club – and don’t think it’s helped by the 12 choice, SJ or ST not great at distributing. Desperately want to see what Redpath can do with him as a combo.

    Dogma – comment is a joke, until yesterday Scotland barely conceded tries, our defense has been our main plus point. Surprised no-one has mentioned Huw Jones yet…

    Mentally, the players can’t cope when up against it and forwards aren’t providing enough of a platform for our backs.

    • 3 missed tackles on DuPont and Fickou running around Haining and Price from the middle of the pitch to corner flag is the team aiding and abetting France.

      Harris would also have made no difference to the Price horror show that killed the game.

      The 5th try was a turnover in midfield with the backs lined up one side and a winger running againg Nel. Again Harris wouldn’t have made a difference.

      The last try was a cross field kick because Graham and Hogg were defending narrow, as Scotland generally does and trust the drift.

      Harris is an excellent defender, but let’s not pretend he can stop Price making a balls up then cover a bounce of the ball like that, or make it from one side to the pitch past all his team mates to cover off the French wing off turnover ball.

      His passing isn’t international class, often misses 3 on 2s as he did before the 4 on 1 yesterday and with an explosive back 3 we need centres who can spot 3 on 2s or even 2 on 2s and pass to our back 3.

    • Harris would not have stopped the try off the Price (and ref error) or Darge being stripped leaving outside French backs against Nel. It was turnover ball with no structured defence because they were ready to attack.

      No defensive general in the world can stop those tries off turnover ball.

  10. Graham and Hogg missed 9 tackles between them.

    Price was at fault for the Fickou try in the 1st half (along with Haining).

    The centres lack the basics ball handling skills of internationals. Outwith the poor pass that Hogg should have taken, there was a 3 on 2 where Harris didn’t even think of passing to Hogg and Graham and another where Tuipolotu failed to give it to Duhan. Amateur hour.

    Bennett looked sharp and deserves a go in the jersey.

  11. Was that Chris Harris giving the ratings. Absolutely laughable. Butchered two try scoring opportunities due to lack of foresight and poor distribution skills. On the positive side followed that up with a try saving tackle.can’t fault the guys application but his skills are just not refined enough. Not his fault he keeps getting selected.

  12. Chris Harris butchering a four on one our highest rated back and more than Bennett…..I’ll have pint of what the rater has been drinking. Darge only one mark better than Harris absolutely behave lol

    • Very curious to know who gave these ratings and what game they watched.

      40 minutes of Harris on the field – Concede 19 points
      40 minutes of Bennett on the field – Concede 17 points

      Don’t think he had a terrible game… but that decision making after the good support to Duhan sums him up.

      Good defender, hard worker, poor attacking ability (cannot distribute).

      Would like to see Bennett get an opportunity.

      • Exactly….a centre that can’t look up pass or convert a four on one would be a liability at u16 rugby….at this level it’s scandalous. He’s slower than a fair proportion of our forwards.Its not as if we stop teams scoring tries when we pick him either we leak loads. It’s insane he has been getting picked over likes of Bennett Hutchison Scott Steyn etc etc.


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