Scotland v Italy: Scotland player ratings

Hamish Watson, Huw Jones and Dave Cherry shine in record win for the hosts

Duhan van der Merwe on his way to scoring his second try. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Duhan van der Merwe on his way to scoring his second try. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

15. Sean Maitland – 8   [Edoardo Padovani 6]

Looked the part in both attack and defence. Comfortable under the high ball and kicked well.  Saw the gap and went for it. Must be a serious Lions contender.

14. Darcy Graham –7   [Mattia Bellini  7]

Took his try well and fights well above his weight in tight situations. Did everything that was asked of him – but needs to find ways of getting himself into the game more.

13. Huw Jones – 8   [Juan Ignacio Brex  5]

Maybe his best game in a Scotland shirt (certainly his best since England 2018). Italian defence was poor, but he had the gas to rip it open. Defence was not really tested, but he was not afraid to mix it up when the need arose.

12. Sam Johnson – 7   [Frederico Mori  5]

Very much a focal point. Hit great lines and made the hard yards. Kept the defence honest – but a black mark for the hospital pass he threw at Darcy Graham. A key man in Paris next week.

11. Duhan van der Merwe – 7   [Montanna Ione  6]

Much improved spacial awareness yielded two very good tries. Strong on the ball, frequently forcing opposition to double up – but still has some work to do on his own defence.


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10. Stuart Hogg –  [Paolo Garbisi  5]

Job done – and he did not look out of place – but difficult to understand the strategic value of playing a world class full-back out of position in a relatively easy game which could so easily have been used to develop burgeoning talent in a key position.

9. Scott Steele – 7   [Stephen Varney  5]

Busy, tidy, decent service, clever around the edges – but maybe not quite enough to hold his place for the big game in Paris next week.

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1. Rory Sutherland – 7   [Danilo Fischetti  7]

Rock solid in what few scrums there were, and he put himself about the park effectively – but he might still need a big game next weekend to make a Lions tour he looked certain to be involved in after round one.

2. Dave Cherry – 8   [Luca Bigi  8]

Excellent darts, two tries and an amazing turn of speed around the front of the line-out. Another self-made man long ignored by those previously tasked with developing homebred talent – and why did Gregor Townsend take so long to stick him on last week

3. Zander Fagerson – 7  [Marco Riccioni  7]

Conceded a penalty at the first scrum and was caught spectating when Luca Bigi bulldozed over, but still stuck in a performance both in and out of the scrum which left us rueing the costly red card he picked up in the Welsh game.

4. Sam Skinner – 7   [Niccolo Cannone  6]

Carried well, did his bit in the line-out and stuck in a couple of big hits. An honest soldier – though not totally convincing as a second-row – or at the restarts.

5. Grant Gilchrist – 7   [Frederico Ruzza 6]

A big shift. The go-to man at the line-out and never far from the ball. An old style second-row forward who looked comfortable slotting straight back in at international level.

6. Jamie Ritchie – 7   [Sebastian Negri  6]

A difficult game for him to influence with the Italians’ total lack of structure, but he gave it his best shot, working tirelessly and providing a useful auxiliary option at the line-out. Next week will be his sort of game.

7. Hamish Watson – 9    [Johan Meyer  6]

21 carries says it all. Another awesome display. Tom Curry and Jason Tipuric … bring them on … there can only be one starting No7 for the Lions.

8. Matt Fagerson – 7   [Michele Lamaro 6]

Another workmanlike performance – but still the nagging feeling that there is so much more to come – hopefully next week.

Replacements

16. George Turner – 5   [for Cherry in 49th minute]

The opportunity to rehabilitate himself after his line-out disaster against Ireland went to waste. His first throw hit the mark but his second over the top must have been two yards squint.  Enthusiastic and energetic though he is in the loose, the yips are a serious ailment for an international hooker.

17. Jamie Bhatti – 6   [for Rory Sutherland in 49th minute]

Another solid contribution.

18. Simon Berghan – 6   [for Zander Fagerson in 49th minute]

A walk in the park.

19. Alex Craig – 6   [for Grant Gilchrist in 62nd minute]

First cap  — and he did ok. Offered himself up for a couple of powerful carries.

20. Nick Haining – 6   [for Hamish Watson in 66th minute

Like last week – he came on late and did what was required of him.

21. Ali Price – 7   [for Scott Steele in 55th minute]

No obvious psychological scars from last week’s nightmare – and vindication in the shape his break-out from defence in the dying minutes to set up van der Merwe’s second try.

22.  Jaco van der Walt – 6   [for Sean Maitland in 55th minute]

Looked comfortable – but the game had lost any shape and was over as a contest by the time he got on.

23. Chris Harris – 6   [for Sam Johnson in 66th minute]

The game was over by the time he got on. Intriguing toss-up with Jones for the 13 jersey next week.


Scotland v Italy report: eight tries for hosts in comfortable win

2 Comments

  1. VDM gets a lot of plaudits for his power and ball carrying, but to be top class his aerial game, decision-making (when to come inside, which hand to carry ball in etc) and defence all need work. Contrast Maitland who is consistently excellent below the radar.

    In centres, you should have only one of Harris or Johnston (I’d go Johnston for France, better running lines) and then one of Jones/Redpath (or Hutchinson in future). Still thank Matt Scott is overlooked for the Harris/Johnston slot though.

    Lions watch: Hogg, Watson, Fagerson should be reasonably assured. Gray, Sutherland, Maitland in with a shout if play well in France. Others have work-ons that their rivals don’t

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  2. Agree with the rating, not some of the comments.

    “Another self-made man long ignored by those previously tasked with developing homebred talent – and why did Gregor Townsend take so long to stick him on last week?”

    Jeeez.
    Easy to look good against the Italians, done the basics well but was under no real pressure in the loose, his two tries were pretty standard of Scotland Hookers against tier 2 nations. Happy to see him start against France to see how he performs.

    “but difficult to understand the strategic value of playing a world class full-back out of position in a relatively easy game which could so easily have been used to develop burgeoning talent in a key position.”

    What burgeoning talent are you referring to? Jaco who just came back from injury and got decent gametime? Ross Thomson, who has just broke into his club team and played 5/6 games? Or Chamberlain who has looked pretty average other than his last game.

    Yes we need to develop talent but you earn your Scotland caps not be gifted them.
    Bringing a young fly-half with 6 days to learn everything and play would be silly.
    They are also getting valuable experience at their clubs right now.

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