Player ratings: Stepping up
A number of young Scots put their hands up in their 30-17 loss to South Africa in Nelspruit on Saturday evening.
The Scots made the Boks sweat for every single point that they got and just did not have enough in the tank to take South Africa all the way. Proof of a well executed piece of analysis of the South African game. Dogged and disruptive.
Nick Tatham rates the players!
15 Peter Murchie
Was very solid in his debut game for Scotland. Was good under the high ball and really did not look out of place in the Test match arena.
14 Tommy Seymour
Very quiet but was solid and marked Bjorn Basson well. Did not offer much on attack and did not seem to be looking for too much work.
13 Alex Dunbar
An absolutely complete turnaround from his performance last weekend. Really stood up and was solid in the tackle. Scored a try and distributed well for the Scots. Shepherded Bryan Habana into touch on the kick-chase – his only faul.
12 Matt Scott
Another player who changed his game completely for this week. Stood up and showed that he deserves to be in the No.12 jersey. Scored a try and won a penalty on the ground. Attacked well and asked questions of the Springbok defence.
11 Sean Lamont
Was industrious and looked for work. Had a good half break but otherwise was quiet. Was not a good night for the wings but he did not do anything wrong.
10 Ruaridh Jackson
Was not looking too sharp. Shy of taking contact but made a couple of tackles. Solid hits on Spies when he had momentum up. A couple of poor passes and took a big hit from Jannie du Plessis forced him from the field.
9 Greig Laidlaw (captain)
Inspirational from the captain. He was the catalyst in a number of their attacking play and pulled the strings beautifully behind his pack of forwards. Shifted out to flyhalf which showed his versatility.
8 Johnnie Beattie
Was prominent in the loose and was trying to get his side on the front foot at every opportunity. Ran hard and was always taking on the defence when he had the chance.
7 Ryan Wilson
Was good for the first-half of the match. Really made a nuisance of himself at the breakdown – which was the story of their loose forwards. Gave away a penalty that cost them three points.
6 Alasdair Strokosch
Absolute menace around the park. Played a vital role in the Scottish effort and was at the majority of the rucks really getting stuck in. Won a number of penalties and was definitely in the running for Man of the Match. The visible version of Richie McCaw some may argue.
5 Jim Hamilton
The lock forward used all his experience to be the thorn in the side of the Springboks. Had a massive game and was all over the field. Received a yellow-card for a push to the face of Eben Etzebeth.
4 Tim Swinson
Came into the game as it grew older and showed his worth when he carried the ball well in the lead up to Alex Dunbar's try. Jumped well and kept himself busy in the loose.
3 Euan Murray
Was the rock of the Scottish scrum. Gave Beast a tough run at the scrum and won a penalty at the scrum. Was quiet in the loose but will always do his fair share.
2 Scott Lawson
Was good at the line-out and made himself visible around the park. Could have been mistaken for Alex Strokosch with his shaved head. Was industrious.
1 Alasdair Dickinson
Very quiet throughout the game. Did what he needed to and went about his business. Gave away a scrum penalty early in the game but made up for it through his general play.
16 Fraser Brown
17 Jon Welsh (on for Dickinson, 64th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.
18 Moray Low
19 Alastair Kellock (on for Hamilton, 61st minute)
Came on for Hamilton after the yellow-card. Battled to get into the game as the momentum shifted towards the Springboks. Tough time to get onto the field and he did not make much of an impact.
20 David Denton (on for Wilson, 37th minute)
Continues to gain respect as a hard running back row forward does the former Kingswood College lad. Linked well at times but fell off a Jan Serfontein attempted tackle.
21 Henry Pyrgos (on for Horne, 43rd minute)
Did relatively well despite a charged down clearance kick. Was sound and composed under pressure but unfortunately didn't get much of a chance to express his attacking prowess.
22 Peter Horne (on for Jackson, 32nd minute)
Unlucky to pick up what looks like a serious knee injury otherwise looked comfortable in the hostility of International rugby.
23 Duncan Taylor (on for Murchie, 78th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.