Player Ratings: Gritty Scots
OPINION: Scotland maintained their winning run with a hard-fought win over Australia at Murrayfield.
Tries from Hamish Watson and debutant Ewan Ashman gave Gregor Townsend’s side victory, while Finn Russell contributed the rest of the points from the tee.
The Wallabies played their part in an entertaining contest, but Scotland will take confidence from their performance as they face the world champion Springboks next weekend.
Gavin Harper rates the Scottish players:
15. Stuart Hogg – 7
A great break before linking with Price and putting Van der Merwe away, but caught dealing with an O’Connor grubber that could have been costly.
14. Darcy Graham – 7
Carried on his good form of a week ago with some energetic carries. Consistently punches above his weight.
13. Chris Harris – 7
The defensive kingpin of this Scotland side always shores up the midfield, but some nice touches in attack too.
12. Sam Johnson – 8
Soft hands on more than one occasion to free the outside backs, and put his weight about in defence against the country of his birth.
11. Duhan van der Merwe – 7
Constantly gets over the gain line. Wallabies coped better than others but always takes a couple to stop him.
10. Finn Russell – 7
Mercurial. Some flashes of brilliance combined with a few wild moments, including a missed tackle that gave the Wallabies the front-foot ball for their opening try. Landed the decisive penalty.
9. Ali Price – 8
Marshalled the side well – has clearly learnt from his Lions experience in the summer. Makes good decisions.
1. Pierre Schoeman – 8
A typically powerful scrummaging performance put the Wallabies under pressure and a physical presence with ball in hand. A lovely offload put Ashman over.
2. George Turner – 5
Unable to make much of an impact before he was forced off within the opening 10 minutes.
3. Zander Fagerson – 7
Some powerful carrying in heavy traffic from the Lions tighthead. Still has a habit of being involved in the off-the-ball scraps.
4. Sam Skinner – 6
An industrious shift from the Exeter man but not as his best in the loose. Caught ball watching as Leota crashed over.
5. Grant Gilchrist – 7
Regularly offers himself to carry in close quarters, and a constant nuisance for White to deal with at the breakdown
6. Jamie Ritchie – 6
Another who wasn’t quite at his best but worked tirelessly as ever. Looks to also be developing into a good leader too.
7. Hamish Watson – 7
Opened the scoring with a well-worked try from the training ground. A couple of turnover penalties but conceded a penalty that handed Australia the lead inside the final quarter.
8. Matt Fagerson – 7
Conceded a needless penalty late in the first half to give the Wallabies their first points, but carried hard throughout.
16. Ewan Ashman – 8
Marked his debut with a wonderfully taken try. Line-outs went well and added his size to a strong scrum after coming on inside the opening 10 minutes.
17. Jamie Bhatti – 7
On for Schoeman with 15 minutes to go and continued putting the Wallabies under pressure at the scrum.
18. Oli Kebble – 7
Like Bhatti, he got the final quarter of an hour and won an important scrum penalty.
19. Jamie Hodgson – 6
On for Skinner for the final quarter to win his second cap. A big step up from Tonga but the Edinburgh man didn’t look out of place.
20. Josh Bayliss – 7
Made his debut inside the final 10 minutes, replacing Watson. Contributed a superb kick chase that led to a Scottish turnover.
21. George Horne – 6
A trademark support line nearly saw the Glasgow man away. Helped see the game out.
22. Adam Hastings – 5
Came on for the impressive Johnson for the closing stages.
23. Kyle Steyn – 6
Reward for four tries last week was the final 20 minutes here. Made a good break and won a good turnover.
By Gavin Harper, @RugbyPass