Six Nations: Scotland v France: Scotland player ratings

Some sterling performances in frustrating defeat

Scotland co-captain rory Darge takes the game to France. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Scotland co-captain rory Darge takes the game to France. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

15. Harry Paterson – 8

Called up for his Test debut at the nth hour. Took the initial highball that came his way well and played a key role in Scotland’s first try shortly after, running dangerously with the ball in hand and keeping it alive with a tricky offload. Covered and kicked flawlessly from the backfield, particularly when picking the ball nicely off his shoelaces a couple metres from his own line. All round, a test debut to remember. Chapeaux young man! [Thomas Ramos – 6]


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14. Kyle Rowe – 7

Stopped an almost guaranteed try early on by taking man and ball when he needed to and played his part in goal line defence. Took the game by the horns and showed his 7s prowess with a 60-metre solo break in the dying minutes, only to lose control of the ball in the tackle that eventually came. [Damian Penaud  – 3]

13. Huw Jones – 7

A few wayward moments from the flying centre, including an inaccuracy with Darge during Scotland’s first red zone attack and a pass straight to the touchline shortly after. Found space where there was none with a mini break following a bounce pass from Russell, and good hustle to rip the ball from Penaud in the second half, giving Scotland crucial field position. Peaks and troughs. [Gaël Fickou – 8]

12. Sione Tuipulotu – 5

Good hands to release van der Merwe in the lead up to Scotland’s first try and played his usual part in defence. Scotland’s midfield doesn’t often get split down the middle, but Fickou exposed a gap between Russell and Tuipolutu with a bit of straight running which looked all too easy. Offered some front foot ball off the back of set-piece but failed on more than one occasion to hold onto the damn thing after taking it into contact. He’s had better games in blue. [Jonathan Danty – 5]

11. Duhan van der Merwe – 9

One of his best games yet, and he didn’t even get on the scoresheet! Tireless chasing after kicks, knocking the French fullb-ack into touch on at least one occasion, and good shepherding in defence. Known for his industrious running with ball in hand, the big Saffa showed his distribution skills, opening up space and passing to Paterson which helped create Scotland’s try. In defence, a super try saving tackle on Fickou (even if it was potentially high) followed by a great intercept (even if he was potentially offside) and kick 50 yards down the tramlines, was a real highlight. [Louis Bielle-Biarrey – 8]

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10. Finn Russell – 8

The maverick fly-half has hopefully shown once and for all how many strings he has to his bow. Russell was relatively quiet in attack – compared to his usual standards – but controlled the game with calmness and composure, putting Scotland in the right parts of the pitch at the right time. The Scottish 10 seems to understand the game like very few others; as soon as Scotland hinted at losing any momentum in attack he would kick with pinpoint accuracy, putting the pressure right back on the French. A well-executed and much needed box-kick was delivered in the second half, but he was well wide with his one attempted drop goal. Scavenged possession like an openside in the lead up to that disallowed try. Overall, controlled the game well and unlucky to be on the losing side. [Matthieu Jalibert – 4]

9. Ben White – 7

Shaky start for Toulon scrummy. He was too long with his first few box-kicks and fumbled the ball following French pressure off the back of a rare Scottish line-out drive. Found his feet shortly after and, like he’s done so many times before, appeared in the right place at the right time, taking Scotland’s only try of the game very well. [Maxime Lucu – 6]

 

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1. Pierre Schoeman – 8

Carried well when it was asked of him and held his own in exceptional fashion in the second half when Tuilagi Jnr joined Atonio’s efforts on the right-hand side of the scrum – a combined 280kg.. Scavenged loose ball well and was prominent around the park. [Cyril Baille – 7]

2. George Turner – 7

Scotland won 86 percent of their line-outs with Turner finding his mark most of the time, redeeming himself in that department. Guilty of giving up too soon on a tackle against Ramos down the flank in the first half, allowing the full-back an extra 20 metres which ended up gifting the French their first three points of the game. [Peato Mauvaka – 6]

3. Zander Fagerson – 6

Good dirty work for hard yards, particularly in the first quarter of the game. Stopped the flying French winger Penaud firmly in his tracks with a dominant tackle which forced a turnover. But gave away a key penalty in the scrum at the death of the first half when Scotland had their foot firmly on the throat of the French side. [Uini Atonio – 5]

4. Grant Gilchrist – 8

Good first game back for the big man in the red cap. Gave away an offside penalty after Scotland’s’ first try, but solid in defence otherwise. Managed to cleanly steal French lineout ball a couple times and disrupted a fair few other. Generally, made a real nuisance of himself around the field. One speculative pass between the legs which you’d imagine he won’t be doing again. [Cameron Woki – 5]

5. Scott Cummings – 6

Took most his line-outs well and stole another. Scotland won the kicking game but also won the line-out game, with both locks performing well in the air. Gave away a penalty for playing the man’s arm at a line-out on 74th minute. [Paul Gabrillagues – 6]

6. Matt Fagerson – 4

Carried well once or twice, but was otherwise difficult to spot. Unusually quiet game from Fagerson who it subsequently emerged was struggling with a stinger and replaced by Christie at half-time. [François Cros – 7]

7. Rory Darge – 8

It took just three and a half minutes for the new Scotland co-captain to win his first penalty of the tournament. Darge justified his leapfrog selection in emphatic style, leading from the front in defence, putting his body on the line set after set. Provided much needed stability when cleaning up messy balls in a couple of rucks at pivotal moments in the second half. [Charles Ollivon – 6]

8. Jack Dempsey – 5

Fielded the ball well in a couple restarts and provided the occasional strong carry. Cleared up a messy ruck ball once or twice when the game was touch and go, but failed to have any significant impact beyond that. [Grégory Alldritt – 8]

 

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Replacements 

16. Ewan Ashman – 6

Came on early for Turner HIA and executed line-out on 17th minute well. Made some hard tackles in the defensive effort that followed. Overthrow on crucial line-out after France took the lead in the last 10 minutes.

17. Alec Hepburn – 5

Came on in 72nd minute and quickly gave a penalty away following a dominant French maul.

18. Elliot Millar-Mills – N/A

19. Sam Skinner – 7

On for Gilchrist at 73 minutes and went on to score what should have been the winning try in the last play of the game. Where else could the ball have gone?

20. Andy Christie – 7

Immediate impact with a turnover one minute into the second half and a clean line-out take shortly after. One hand on a starting jersey for the Calcutta Cup in two weeks’ time. Would be two hands, but was held in the scrum or didn’t notice the No.8 pick, which gave the French momentum in the lead up to Bielle-Biarrey’s wonder solo try.

21. George Horne – N/A

22. Ben Healy – N/A

23. Cameron Redpath – N/A

Replaced Jones with four minutes left on the clock and had limited opportunity to make an impact.

 

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Six Nations: Scotland v France live blog …

19 Comments

  1. Here’s one for the ref bashers , and thoe who sed that Ireland always ‘skirt the laws’

    Irelands third try comes from a scrum, given because the Ireland player on the ground, pushes the ball out of the Italy players hands. Result Ireland score rather than penalty to Italy!

    Who do you blame, Ireland for cheating or the refs for not being able to see the facts !!!!!

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  2. the scrum pen against Fagerson was a nonsense and should not be held against him. Scotland scrum was going forward and Baille hinged, clear as day. Another Berry masterpiece. I’m also dubious about the lineout pen against Cummings.

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    • See my comments below re Zander but I think the penalty against him was fair. He should have been penalised in the first scrum and I’m sure the ref noticed that. The second scrum his knees give way before the hinging starts. He is still a great prop.

      • disagree Iain. Our scrum was good. Antonio off and moving forward. No way he leaves his feet behind him, he went down because Baille hinged to prevent a retreat

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  3. It’s all about opinions but these ratings are generous.

    DvdM 9? Yes great in attack but exposed a few times in defence

    Dempsey 5 – harsh in the extreme

    Hooker ratings odd – Turner is becoming a penalty machine. Ashman struggles with throw in.

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    • Turner is playing very well. How many penalties did this penalty machine give away on Saturday? He is our best lineout thrower and is getting better and better in the loose. We have good competition at hooker with Ashman.

  4. Some generous scores. A lot of players didn’t turn up .that game was there for winning and shouldn’t have needed a last minute TMO decision. Fagersons pleural as always so bang average aS was huw jones.

    What A player in Harry Patterson. Much better than Hogg both on and off the pitch/ thankfully that ‘injury’ *has made it possible to see this new talent.

    * deliberate sru cover story

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    • We all know that Hogg did not “retire” because his body was broken and Paterson was a bright shining star. Agree about “Fagersons plural” as I also think like you that they are bang average but unfortunately favoured sons of Gregor. Why did Fagerson senior play the full 80 mins when Miller Mills has been talked up by Townsend. Nearly every team switch their props about 10 or 15 mins into the second half but not Gregor.

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      • Everyone is entitled to an opinion, it used to be though you gave your opinion when you had some knowledge on the subject you were commenting on. Zander Fagerson average, give me a break. He is the 2nd best tighthead in the 6 Nations behind Porter.

  5. must have been watching a different game 7 and above means players had a great game there wasnt many 7s today once again players making far to many basic errors we should have won today we didnt

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  6. Hmm, maybe I’m just a harsher marker but again, some scores seem high given we really should have won that game even with the worst “non-try decision” ever. Jones a 6 for me, VdM not a 9, probably 7 or maybe 8, Gilchrist 7 and possibly harsh on Dempsey, though he didn’t have his usual impact. Christie was a standout as a replacement, though our bench generally was bemusingly underused. Could have, should have yet again, but then again, we sort of did at the end.

    • Patterson at least a 9 for me n white v generous at 7….despite the utterly ludicrous officiating with Horne at 9 and better quicker service we win that game. White was at heart of it all going wrong v Wales but obvs GT won’t change his mind. Christie showed her should have started both matches and we defo need Bradbury starting too. Dempsey looked well off pace. Hookers can’t be trusted at lineout and if fit Matthews starting n cherry on bench are safer and frankly better in open as well.

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      • Rugby fan – Your entitled to your opinion but it’s becoming a bit like a broken record to be honest. Matthews is not a test level hooker. Turner has his faults but is one of the few players who can be relied on to carry aggressively and gain yards. His throwing is generally pretty good and brings more to the scrum than Matthews offers.

        I like George Horne as a player but White is an all round better player. Horne’s qualities are suited to an open game with a different game plan. Yesterday wasn’t the game for him. White played well and deserves the score he has been given.

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      • Totally agree about no. 9. White is on for his kicking which was too long, giving away possession. Admittedly he got the try made by VDM and Patterson linking through Jones and did well to hold onto that final pass, but in general his distribution is slow, although I’ve noticed an improvement since going to Toulon. Horne is already super-confident, predatory and fast and we’re not the only ones to remark on how he speeds up our back line. Wasted talent.

      • Totally agree about no. 9. White is on for his kicking which was too long, giving away possession. Admittedly he got the try made by VDM and Patterson linking through Jones and did well to hold onto that final pass, but in general his distribution is slow, although I’ve noticed an improvement since going to Toulon. Horne is already super-confident, predatory and fast and we’re not the only ones to remark on how he speeds up our back line. Wasted talent.

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