Wales v Scotland: Scotland player ratings

Plenty of endeavour in Cardiff but too many key players failed to hit the standards they have set themselves

A tough day at the office for Finn Russell and Zander Fagerson. Image: © Craig Watson -
A tough day at the office for Finn Russell and Zander Fagerson. Image: © Craig Watson -

15. Stuart Hogg – 7

A ​disappointing afternoon for the Scotland skipper. Committed and diligent, solid and brave, but he struggled to get himself into the game.  Lucky to escape being penalised for a deliberate knock-on in the first play of the match. A couple of wayward kicks. Second best to Liam Williams.

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14. Darcy Graham – 9

A little man with a giant heart. Too strong for Louis Rees-Zammit when he caught him one-on-one five meters out. Into everything, with some huge hits. What was there not to like, apart from one poor turnover conceded to Liam Williams?

13. Chris Harris – 7

Tidy, effective, resolute – exactly what it says on the tin  a bulwark in defence.

12. Sione Tuipulotu – 7 

Probably showed enough both sides of the ball to ​justify Gregor Townsend’s apparently harsh treatment of Sam Johnson.

11. Duhan van der Merwe – 6

A poor game. Play perhaps did not go his way – but he seemed unusually reluctant to chase the action. Two potentially important carries when the chips were down in the last five minutes – and he was stripped of the ball both times


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10. Finn Russell – 7

A yellow card, a restart going out on the full, a missed touch from a penalty – hardly a vintage afternoon. But, as always, he was Scotland’s best chance of getting a result. Unfortunately, on the day, Dan Biggar was better.

9. Ali Price – 7

Slick – tidy – busy around the edges – though maybe not as accurate with his box as usual. Picked a couple of sublime passes to Duhan van der Merwe.


1. Pierre Schoeman – 8

Kept his end up in the scrum and made a huge contribution around the field. Carried strongly, ‘jackaled’ effectively, and three or four critical covering tackles. First-class all round performance.

2. Stuart McInally – 7

Scrummaged strongly. Darts not entirely convincing, but tended to get lucky. Busy around the edges. Very much a focal point.

3. WP Nel – 7

Fell foul of the referee at first scrum, but fairly comfortable thereafter. Regularly caught the eye in the defensive wall.

4. Jonny Gray – 6

Worked hard but struggled to impose himself again.

5. Grant Gilchrist – 6

Quiet afternoon  and a couple of handling errors.

6. Sam Skinner – 6

Replacing Jamie Ritchie was always going to be a thankless task, but gave it his best shot, and kept fighting to the very last play.

7. Hamish Watson – 6

Forced to plough a lonely furrow, and struggled to establish any sort of bulkhead at the breakdown against the aggressive Welsh back row.

8. Matt Fagerson – 7

A tremendous declaration of intent on his first carry, and he kept hard at it, until he had to leave the field injured in the 30th minute.


16. George Turner – 5

Threw poorly and gave away two costly penalties at the end.

17. Rory Sutherland – 5

Only survived 15 minutes before suffering a shoulder injury.

18. Zander Fagerson – 5

Daft penalty when Scotland were chasing the game. All told, the bomb squad did not have the desired impact.

19. Magnus Bradbury – 6

Paddled manfully against the tide, but could not get onto the front foot.

20. Rory Darge – 6

Covid, injury, and loads more frustration today – but at least his name is now in the book.

21. Ben White – 6

Looked the part – again.

22. Blair Kinghorn –  6

Stepped in when Russell was sent to the bin and handled it well.

23. Cam Redpath – 6

A cameo appearance.

Wales v Scotland: heartbreak in Cardiff again


  1. Scotland were very average through this game , Darcy Graham excepted. We seem to lose a lot of momentum without M Fagerson and Jamie Ritchie. Schoeman looks the part. Play him for 80. Zander F needs to wake up.
    Adam Hastings deserves his chance – bench for Russell. Tuipolotu showed he can make metres but the game as ever is won or lost up front and the backs …as ever… need quality ball. It’s been a long time in the wilderness for Scotland & the last RWC was a low light. There’s about 18 months left to sort this out before we go back to square one. Hard calls need to be made.

  2. David Barnes – a suggestion: maybe list the players from 1 to 15 rather than starting with the outside backs. The old cliche about who wins games is still largely true. I think some readers have decided the scores are too high before they get to the forwards.

    I do enjoy the player ratings, as it’s interesting to get someone else’s view on who the top performers were, as well as reviewing some of the individual performances and battles that don’t make the standard match report.

  3. I thought Gilchrist of whom I am not normally enamoured had his best game ever and was our most potent forward.

  4. I’d say these are generous ratings…this is becoming tiresome. It begs the eternal question – If not now, then when?

    I think most people are getting tired of the “flawed genius” rhetoric with Russell. He was smirking as he left the field. He should have his head in his hands.

    Hogg was awful. VDM was absent. We brought on the bench front row far too early and we brought on other players too late. Strategically speaking it was naïve to say the least.

    The only person with any reason to be proud was Graham. He has turned out to be a fine international with a drive few possess.

    Wales were there for the taking. We couldn’t beat a team with a playmaker who had a gammy knee FFS. We must’ve coughed up at least 12 points to them and at this level that’s just not good enough.

  5. Scores look alright to me. Starting pack 6s & 7s, finishing pack 5s & 6s. That pretty much tells the story of the game. A couple of the backs could probably have a point knocked off but it’s just the author’s opinion – the only objective measure is the scoreboard.

  6. Darcy may be half the size, but he has twice the strength of the guys around him. The high ratings given to the other players here is a scandal and only encourages poor performance. For example, Hogg did absolutely nothing at all and got a seven. For what? There is no disguising the fact that for the second year running – and having beaten England again – we have gone on to fall at one of the lowest of hurdles. And there is no point having Russell at 10 if the midfield is so obviously lacking in creativity, especially when this was a game that was to be won through attack. . Yet again I watched Hutchinson tearing up the turf for his club on Friday night and yet again I look at Townsend and wonder what exactly is not registering with him. Not good enough.

  7. Generous. Wales were there to be beaten but as Toony will say/has said “We’ll learn from this”- it’s about time we did. Perhaps everyone else has realistic expectations of where we are in the 6 nations and we need to take our blue tinted specs off. I did think Russell was hampered in catching the ball and maybe he’d have done what he did against England but clutching at straws really.

  8. We badly need a pack leader on field that leads by example and keeps the intensity up , keeping focus on job . We can all name them the type Richie McCaw , Martin Johnston , Finlay Calder, Alun Wyn Jones etc etc
    Real grunt, game intelligence, focus, respected , massive will to win , consistent. I know a country of our size cannot produce players of that quality all the time but someone has to step up and lead forwards better than they are. Subs don’t make it easy because you need this player on field almost all of the time. No one obvious to me – suggestions .

    • The country size won’t wash Ireland and Wales are smaller. Russell was very poor. Kick off straight into touch, two kicks charged down, poor positioning in failure to field William’s kick to touch, he was 10 meters infield instead of being on the touch line.

  9. Jings, I wish I’d watched this match instead of the one I saw yesterday on the telly. By the looks of those scores, a lot of these guys seem to have played pretty well!

  10. Seeing this was a poor Welsh team a lot but even supposedly poor Welsh teams will have good basic skills, decision making and will fight like hell in Cardiff.

    Perhaps more recognition due of what you’ve got to do to win there. Most 6N teams don’t.

  11. Far too generous with points to supposedly professional players, far too many schoolboy , unforced errors, stand off taking kick off then dancing about inside his 22 ,then getting his kick charged down(I wonder how often that one is run through at training),not mentioned in list of unforced errors above,not the only one making poor calls but please rate these guys properly.

  12. you are giving rates way above the publics view of the game where if fin russel has a bad game the whole scottish team have a bad game,toonie is putting all his eggs in one basket,this was a poor welsh side and scotland coudnt take advantage


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