15. Stuart Hogg – 8
Missed one high ball early on and another with 20 minus to go, but generally rock solid in defence and took his two tries superbly. A couple of siege gun clearance kicks, and struck the right balance between risk and reward. The number of penalties conceded were an issues but the captain managed the referee well.
14. Rufus McLean – 6
Solid enough in defence apart from being caught too tight on Makazole Mapimpi’s first try. Not many chances to show what he can do with the ball in hand, and you wonder whether Darcy Graham might have found a way to ask the Springboks a few more questions.
13. Chris Harris – 6
Struggled against Springbok line speed – but read the play well in lead up to Stuart Hogg’s first try. Needless penalty under a high ball at 18-10 was a swing point in game.
12. Matt Scott – 6
A tough afternoon in which he was constantly on back foot. Caught short by Damian de Allende in lead up to Mapimpi’s second try. First appearance in four years and will have hoped to make a bigger impact.
11. Duhan van der Merwe – 9
World class. Perhaps his best game in a Scotland jersey. Brilliant break-out from own line after 12 minutes when Scotland were very much under the cosh and a big statement just when it was needed. Ran strongly and handled well in build-up to Stuart Hogg’s first try. Solid in defence, tackled hard, no sign of perceived weakness under high ball.
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10. Finn Russell – 7
A bad start dropping his first ball, but a glimpse of what might have been if he had been fully fit on the Lions tour. Some imaginative and powerful kicking, combining length and subtlety, though less successful when going for goal. Brave in the face of enormous physical challenge, his quick hands could not always avert the onslaught, and he got scant protection from the referee.
9. Ali Price – 7
A difficult afternoon under intense pressure at the breakdown, but coped well. Effective link, his service was fine, and some excellent box kicking.
1. Pierre Schoeman – 7
Knew what to expect at scrum time – and got it – but hung in there manfully. Competitive in the ‘semi-rough’ and some nice touches in open play.
2. Stuart McInally – 6
Hard going in the scrum, but he gave it his best shot. Active about the pitch and darts were fine – until his last throw.
3. Zander Fagerson – 6
Penalty at first scrum foreshadowed a torrid afternoon. Surprising (and perhaps significant) that he was not replaced until 65th minute – by which time he was dead on his feet.
4. Sam Skinner – 7
A big shift in which he put himself about the park with purpose. A huge steal of Springbok line-out in eighth minute kick-started the game for Scotland.
5. Grant Gilchrist – 6
Struggled with the physicality and did not look secure on restarts, but stuck with it. Some good takes in first half, but line-out died on him in the last quarter.
6. Nick Haining – 6
Brought in to beef up the home pack, but struggled to impose himself. Competed determinedly, but it was always a big ask.
7. Jamie Ritchie – 6
A huge effort, camped right on the edge of legality, and didn’t get it right as often as Scotland needed. Could hardly have worked harder in what was, in truth, always a losing cause.
8. Matt Fagerson – 7
Fought gamely against irresistible force, was a leading carrier and tackler for the hosts, but was eventually swamped.
16. Ewan Ashman – 5
Came on for a pressure throw on 61 minutes and South Africa snaffled it. The second cap was always going to struggle to measure up to last weekend’s dream debut.
17. Jamie Bhatti – 5
Scotland needed some oomph off the bench, such as the ‘bomb squad’ give South Africa, but there wasn’t much forthcoming.
18. Oli Kebble – 5
19. Jamie Hodgson – 6
Excellent turnover immediately after taking the field on 72 minutes.
20. Hamish Watson – 5
The roar from the Murrayfield crowd when he came on with half an hour to go highlights just how big a player he is for the team, but couldn’t inspire anything here.
21. George Horne – 5
No real chance to make an impact during his nine minutes on the park.
22. Adam Hastings – 5
Came on at 10 for the final 10 minutes, with Russell moving to 12, but not much happening and ended up running up a few dead-end alleys.
23. Blair Kinghorn – 5
A fine kick-chase just after Hogg’s second try put South Africa under serious pressure and won a big penalty, but the line-out was lost and Scotland couldn’t keep their foot on the gas. Dropped a high ball and threw a wild pass which ultimately led to South Africa’s final three points from a scrum-penalty directly in front of the posts.