Player Ratings: Back down to earth
OPINION: Scotland were unable to back up their Calcutta Cup win last weekend as they fell to Wales at Murrayfield.
A second-half red card for Zander Fagerson proved costly as the visitors secured their second successive victory, while Scotland were unable to capitalise on a dominant first-half showing.
Gavin Harper rates the Scotland players.
15. STUART HOGG – 8
An outstanding showing from Scotland’s captain, who took his try well after gathering his own chip through. A lovely stepping break caused havoc for Wales.
14. DARCY GRAHAM – 7
Hasn’t played since January 2 for personal reasons, but looked lively throughout to get himself involved. A lovely finish for his try to get on the end of Price’s kick. The man was unlucky to be removed when Scotland needed a prop.
13. CHRIS HARRIS – 7
Made a couple of early half breaks to put Scotland on the front foot, and linked well with Duhan van der Merwe in defence to shut down the Welsh attacking options.
12. JAMES LANG – 6
A quiet outing for the Harlequins man who carried for just eight metres. Lang combined well to keep Welsh midfield quiet, and get the ball to Scotland’s danger men. Huw Jones offered more of a carrying threat once he came on.
11. DUHAN VAN DER MERWE – 7
Always makes good ground with ball in hand, whether in heavy traffic or the open expanses. Rushed out of the line for Wales’ first try, but nearly got away late on to snatch victory.
10. FINN RUSSELL – 7
Some lovely touches in attack, and nearly put Duhan van der Merwe away for the match-winning score late on. An assured showing, but should have taken the points when they were on offer.
9. ALI PRICE – 6
Box kicks were targeted by England, but a much more assured performance today as he turned Wales time and time again. Got Scotland moving in attack and supplied a lovely assist to Graham’s try.
Kicked the ball away late on which made Scotland’s task even harder.
1. RORY SUTHERLAND – 6
Part of a dominant scrum, and added to the carrying threat when Scotland were dominant.
2. GEORGE TURNER – 6
A couple of lineout wobbles won’t have pleased the hooker, but he got his hands on the ball regularly before making way inside the final quarter.
3. ZANDER FAGERSON – 5
The red card hugely costly as he collided with Wyn Jones, who’d also got the better of a couple of scrum exchanges.
4. SCOTT CUMMINGS – 6
A quitter shift than a week ago, but offered himself tirelessly in attack and often used as the link between Price and Russell. Once again showed his engine by shifting to the back-row late on.
5. JONNY GRAY– 7
Supported Russell’s linebreak well to get the offload and put Scotland on the front foot for their opening try. A constant carrier, too.
6. BLADE THOMSON – 6
Off early but made one big charge just before being injured. His frustrations in the navy blue continue.
7. HAMISH WATSON – 8
Worked as hard as anyone, whether carrying or making 13 tackles, while also kept Justin Tipuric quiet – no easy feat.
8. MATT FAGERSON – 7
A costly penalty in the build-up to Wales’ first try. He carried well and added physicality to the defensive effort.
By Gavin Harper, @RugbyPass