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Player Ratings: Scotland

OPINION: Scotland led for 69 minutes at Murrayfield but ultimately ended up rueing their failure to close out another tight contest, having prevailed by a point in Cardiff last week.

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They might have won it at the end, but after four minutes of deliberation by the TMO, were denied a winning try despite it appearing Jack Dempsey had forced the ball down over the line.

Bryn Palmer rates Scottish players:

15. Harry Paterson – 7.5
With Kyle Steyn’s wife going into labour on the eve of the game, Paterson was thrown straight in for his Test debut after just eight senior outings with Edinburgh. His bright pink boots made him stand out even further but looked at home on the big stage. Dealt with high balls well, kicked long and accurately, and played a key part in White’s try with a lovely fend and inside pass to Jones.

14. Kyle Rowe – 6
Moved back to his familiar wing beat after a promising first Test start against Wales last week, the game rarely came Rowe’s way and had precious few chances to show his wares until two minutes from time, when his stunning breakout almost brought late salvation for the Scots.

13. Huw Jones – 6.5
Brilliant, instinctive pass to release Ben White for his try illustrated his attacking prowess, albeit he wasted an earlier attack with a delayed pass to Darge. Good footwork early in the second half to weave his way out of trouble and another solid contribution in defence.

12. Sione Tuipulotu – 6
Played a part in White’s try with a familiar wraparound move outside Russell and half-a-dozen hard carries in midfield got his side on the front foot, but couldn’t quite influence the game as much as he might have liked.

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11. Duhan van der Merwe – 5.5
Came off his left wing to make the extra man in the attack that led to White’s try, but didn’t have the ball in his hands enough from a Scottish point of view. Well shackled by the French defence, and made one excellent cover tackle to collar Fickou after the centre’s coruscating break.

10. Finn Russell – 7.5
His game management was sound in the main, keeping France pinned back with the length and variety of his kicking game, and it was the co-captain’s persistence that won the ball back in the final knockings that almost led to a winning try. 100 percent off the tee for a second successive week with four from four.

9. Ben White – 7
Another strong outing from the Toulon scrumhalf, who ran a superb support line to finish off a brilliant move for his fourth Test try, and carried out his duties from the base with an increasing air of authority to take some of the load off Russell.

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1. Pierre Schoeman – 6.5
Carried hard in the tight exchanges and his tackle count was into double figures for a second week in a row. Competed well against Atonio at scrum-time, holding his end up well.

2. George Turner – 6
Forced off for an HIA in the first half but returned to the fray and performed well at the set-piece, finding his target on 11 out of 12 occasions at the line-out before giving way to Ashman with 12 minutes left.

3. Zander Fagerson – 7.5
Another powerful display from the Glasgow tighthead, who gave the Scots a solid platform at scrum-time, carried hard and made a dozen tackles. Showed his durability by going the full 80, with Millar-Mills left on the bench.

4. Grant Gilchrist – 6
Restored to the side in place of the injured Richie Gray, the experienced Edinburgh lock presided over a strong line-out display, taking a few throws himself, and grafted hard in the tight exchanges.

5. Scott Cummings – 7
Stepped up well in the absence of Gray and a dynamic presence at the line-out, a safe middle option on his own ball and a disruptor on France’s, stealing two opposition throws. One knock-on blotted his copybook with ball in hand, but a strong outing.

6. Matt Fagerson – 5
His head was on the receiving end of Atonio’s shoulder just before half-time, and failed to reappear after the interval. Grafted hard as ever, but struggled to impose himself on proceedings.

7. Rory Darge – 8
Making his return from a strained knee ligament after six weeks on the sidelines, the Glasgow flank looked like he’d never been away, winning an early breakdown penalty and leading from the front on both sides of the ball. Finished as his side’s top carrier – with 13 – and tackler – also 13. Didn’t deserve to finish on the losing side.

8. Jack Dempsey – 6
Restored to the starting XV after being left on the bench in Cardiff, the lasting memory from this match will be Dempsey’s ‘no-try’ at the death, even though he – and most people inside Murrayfield – felt he had got the ball down. Didn’t bring as much go-forward as Scotland might have hoped, but a full shift in defence.

REPLACEMENTS:

16. Ewan Ashman – 5
Had a gallop for 12 minutes in the first half when Turner departed for an HIA and on permanently for the last 12. One lost lineout and struggled to make an impact.

17. Alec Hepburn – NA
Took over from Schoeman for the final nine minutes but little chance to influence proceedings.

18. Elliot Millar-Mills – Not used

19. Sam Skinner – NA
Only on for the final six minutes, so barely time to make an impression.

20. Andy Christie – 6.5
In prime form for Saracens this season, replaced Matt Fagerson at the interval and proved a useful source of line-out ball as well as contributing seven tackles, but few opportunities with ball in hand.

21. George Horne – Not used

22. Ben Healy – Not used

23. Cameron Redpath – NA
Replaced Huw Jones for the final three minutes. Too little time to have an impact.

By Bryn Palmer, @RugbyPass

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