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Player ratings: Scotland

OPINION: Scotland’s roller coaster Six Nations campaign ended with a 10th successive loss to Ireland despite a committed and courageous defensive display in Dublin.

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Huw Jones’ late try gave them late hope of an upset but the visitors were forced to make 239 tackles as the Irish dominated possession and territory.

After three wins in three of the last four years, defeat left Gregor Townsend’s side with only two victories to their name as the chance of a rare Triple Crown also slipped from their grasp.

Bryn Palmer rates the Scotland players!

15. Blair Kinghorn – 6.5

Safe under the high ball and watchful when dealing with the probing kicks of Lowe, the Toulouse fullback also countered well on occasion, with plenty of length on his clearance kicks. Conceded a penalty for a clumsy high hit on Nash and lost ball in contact in a rare Scottish second-half attack.

14. Kyle Steyn – 6

The Glasgow wing was his usual busy self, chasing plenty of White box-kicks, tackling and carrying hard when he got the opportunity but rarely had the chance to raise a gallop and had his hands full dealing with Lowe.

13. Huw Jones – 7

Looked threatening when he did see ball with several good carries and took his 17th Test try – drawing him level with Alan Tait in terms of the most prolific Scotland centres – brilliantly when he slipped through a gap and stepped his way to the line late on. One missed tackle on Aki but otherwise another decent defensive shift too.

12. Stafford McDowall – 7

Handed only his second Scotland cap and his first in the Six Nations, the strapping Glasgow centre exploded into the game after a quiet opening quarter with a superb line break, brushing off Aki and Crowley in the process.

Showed up well defensively too, making 17 tackles before making way for Redpath just after the hour. Justified his selection.

11. Duhan van der Merwe – 4.5

Conceded three penalties inside the opening 22 minutes, twice for not releasing in the tackle when he over-did the strong-arm stuff, and a soft one for drifting offside. Tracked back well to deny Ringrose a score but couldn’t find any space in attack and was well smothered by the Irish defenders. Five tries in the Championship but remains one short of Stuart Hogg’s Scotland record.

10. Finn Russell – 5.5

Not the fly-half’s finest hour. His kicking from hand failed to release the relentless Irish pressure and put a restart out on the full to hand momentum back. Tried to get things going in attack but one pass behind Van der Merwe stalled a promising advance. Maintained his fine place-kicking throughout the campaign, finishing with 22 from 23 attempts.

9. Ben White – 6

Restored to the starting line-up after a “recharge” week before the Italy game, he brought a steadiness to proceedings, launching a host of well executed box-kicks for his chasers. One handling error just before half-time and one loose pass in the second half, but otherwise his service was tidy and covered well in defence too before giving way to Horne.

1. Pierre Schoeman – 6.5

The Edinburgh loosehead was energetic in the loose with several strong carries in the tight exchanges. Made 17 tackles in the 48 minutes he was on, but conceded a penalty when he stood up under pressure from Furlong as the Scots’ front row were second best in the scrum.

2. George Turner – 6

Overthrown lineout to Gilchrist near the Scots’ line was a costly error in the 12th minute, gifting Sheehan the opening try. Put in his fair share of tackles – 16 in 48 minutes – before giving way to Ashman, but returned to the fray when his replacement was sin-binned.

3. Zander Fagerson – 6.5

Tough day at the coalface for the durable tighthead on the day he became Scotland’s most capped prop of all-time in his 67th Test. Struggled at times with Porter at scrum-time and lost one ball in contact after the Scots tapped a free-kick. But made a vital intervention to deny Furlong a try and an impressive 22 tackles before making way for Sebastian with nine minutes left.

4. Grant Gilchrist – 6

The Edinburgh lock had to dig deep in the trenches with his side on the back foot for most of the game. Took a couple of restarts and one vital try-saving tackle on Nash in the second half. One of 12 Scotland players to hit double figures in the tackle count.

5. Scott Cummings – 7.5

The Glasgow lock was the heart of the Scots’ courageous defensive effort, putting in an enormous shift with 25 tackles, 15 in the first half alone. Also a safe source of lineout ball at the front, and a successful return to frontline duties in this Championship.

6. Andy Christie – 8.5

Outstanding on just his second Test start. The Saracens back-rower showed his pace to charge down a Lowe clearance, won two important turnovers in the first half and played a major role in the Scots’ defensive shift, topping the tackle count with 27. Pinged for crossing but possibly his only blemish. Another big turnover to deny Nash a try. A big positive from Scotland’s campaign.

7. Rory Darge – 5.5

One or two darts with ball in hand but the co-captain was mainly restricted to defensive duties, and struggled to impose himself on proceedings as much as he would have liked. Replaced by Matt Fagerson after 62 minutes.

8. Jack Dempsey – 7.5

Scotland needed his abrasive edge on both sides of the ball. The visitors’ leading carrier in a game where they had precious little quality possession and made 20 tackles in another strong defensive shift. Also mopped up well behind a retreating scrum at times.
Replacements:

16. Ewan Ashman – 5

Replaced Turner after 48 minutes and yellow-carded in the 64th minute, taking one for the team after a string of penalties conceded under the Irish onslaught.

17. Rory Sutherland – 6.5

Back in the match-day squad for the first time this Championship, the Glasgow-bound loosehead was into the fray after 48 minutes. Helped improve the scrum, winning one penalty, and some strong carries with ball in hand.

18. Javan Sebastian – 4

Replaced Zander Fagerson for the final nine minutes but little time to make an impression.

19. Sam Skinner – 4

Another who only made it on for the final knockings. Put himself about as usual.

20. Matt Fagerson – 4.5

Came on for Darge just after the hour but could do little to turn the green tide.

21. George Horne – 5

Brought some pace and spark to the attack late on, making good ground in the build-up to Jones’ try.

22. Cameron Redpath – 6.5

Replaced McDowall after 61 minutes and did brilliantly to hold up Henshaw over the line before a lovely offload to Horne created the position for Jones’ try.

23. Kyle Rowe – 4.5

Entered the fray with 14 minutes left and the Scots down to 14. One kick out on the full didn’t help the cause.

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