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Player Ratings: Scotland

OPINION: Scotland overcame an 18-point half-time deficit to see off a largely second-string France at Murrayfield.

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The visitors scored three first-half tries and led 21-3 at the break, but a second-half comeback made it two World Cup warm-up wins from two games for Gregor Townsend’s side.

Darcy Graham was again integral to the second-half revival, while there were strong showings from some big men off the bench. The two teams will meet again in St Etienne in a week’s time, and Scotland can expect Fabien Galthie to roll out his first-choice XV for that one.

Gavin Harper rates the Scottish players:

15. Blair Kinghorn – 7
The Edinburgh man was named the official man of the match, and he combined well with Russell after the break after a tricky opening 40 minutes.

14. Darcy Graham – 8.5
Dragged Scotland back into the contest after the break with some outrageous footwork and a poacher’s finish for his try. Not many in world rugby are in better form than the Hawick man.

13. Huw Jones – 6.5
Looked a bit rusty as he was beaten for pace by debutant Louis Bielle-Biarrey as Couilloud scored. Some lovely touches in attack to set Scotland away after the interval.

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12. Sione Tuipulotu – 6.5
Six first-half tackles and only one carry symptomatic of Scotland being on the back foot for much of the opening 40 minutes. His direct carrying helped get the hosts front-foot ball and was a major factor in their second-half revival.

11. Duhan van der Merwe – 7.5
Always looks threatening with the ball in hand, but was lucky not to get caught running across his own posts in the first half. Quieter after the break as his wing colleague took the limelight.

10. Finn Russell – 7.5
Brought his usual calm as he captained Scotland for the first time. Was well marshalled in the first half but really got the attack firing after the break. Made bold calls to go to the corner with Scotland chasing the game, but sensibly took the points late on to seal victory.

9. Ben White – 5
An ankle injury forced the scrumhalf off after half an hour, but he was also on the receiving end of a high shot from Bielle-Biarrey. A real worry as the new Toulon man has been one of Scotland’s finds of the season.

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1. Pierre Schoeman – 7
Had the better of Demba Bamba at the scrum, and his carrying into the French front five helped with the second-half turnaround. Deserved his score.

2. Ewan Ashman – 5
Just a second Test start for the former Sale hooker, but in a competitive position selection-wise, failed to take his chance. Line-out wobbled at key moments and didn’t really have an impact with the ball in hand.

3. Zander Fagerson – 4
Initially given yellow for a reckless head-first charge into a ruck Scotland had already won. Upgraded to a red card, and his World Cup must now be in serious doubt. Issues with discipline far too often spoil otherwise decent outings.

4. Richie Gray – 5
Did well to spoil some French line-out ball but wasn’t able to impose himself in the way he did during the Six Nations.

5. Grant Gilchrist – 6
Nine tackles and five carries from the Edinburgh man, who was the more effective of the second rows with the ball in hand.

6. Matt Fagerson – 6.5
One of two survivors from the Italy win, with Graham, but looks more comfortable at No.8 than on the flank. However, he worked tirelessly and led Scotland’s tackle count with 15, while also contributing nine carries.

7. Hamish Watson – 5
Another of Scotland’s Lions who has endured a real dip in form. Bulldozed debutant centre Gailleton but caught ball watching and then out of position as Bielle-Biarrey scored. Ineffective at the breakdown, and his place in the team must be under pressure from Darge.

8. Jack Dempsey – 7
Worked hard but wasn’t able to get Scotland on the front foot and lucky not to be punished for a loose offload inside the first quarter that found Jalibert. Charged into the French with a huge carry off the second-half kick-off.

Replacements:

16. Dave Cherry – 7
Charged straight into the French from a quick-tap penalty moments after coming on. The former Stade Nicois man played like he’d a point to prove and took his try well to put Scotland ahead.

17. Jamie Bhatti – 6
Another who threw himself about in his cameo. Finished with four carries, picking up from where Schoeman left off.

18. WP Nel – 6
There surely won’t be many more Murrayfield outings for the veteran tighthead as he nears the end of his career. Did his job at the set-piece and chipped in with seven tackles, the most of any of the bench.

19. Scott Cummings – N/A
On for Gilchrist inside the closing stages and no real time to make an impact.

20. Rory Darge – 6.5
Led the team against Italy and replaced Watson for the final quarter here. Another decent showing in these warm-up games could see him propelled into Townsend’s first XV.

21. George Horne – 7
On for the injured White on 30 minutes. While he didn’t have much impact in the first half, the Glasgow man added real spark after the break. Runs great lines and always available for an offload.

22. Cam Redpath – 5
On for Tuipulotu for the final quarter today but didn’t really impact the proceedings until he secured the turnover that won the game.

23. Ollie Smith – N/A
Unused

By Gavin Harper, @RugbyPass

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