Player Ratings: Far from pretenders
OPINION: Scotland backed up their Calcutta Cup success with a bonus point 35-7 thumping of a hapless Wales at Murrayfield.
Kyle Steyn led the way with a couple of tries, while Blair Kinghorn, George Turner and Matt Fagerson also crossed in a record Scotland win over Wales. Finn Russell added the rest of the points from the tee.
Scotland’s win came despite the early loss of Stuart Hogg who failed a head injury assessment, but the hosts were undeterred as they finally ended their wait for a win over Warren Gatland’s Wales.
Gavin Harper rates the Scotland players!
15 Stuart Hogg – 5
The former captain lasted only a dozen minutes before he was forced off. His only notable contribution came very early as he made a good half break from Tomos Williams’ first clearance.
14 Kyle Steyn – 7.5
Brilliant awareness to tap down Russell’s cross kick, then nearly got away from a lineout move on the half-hour only to be flattened in the corner by Dyer and Adams. His tries laid on a plate.
13 Huw Jones – 8
A scorching break early on as the Glasgow centre pairing combined. Jones also made a couple of clever defensive read to shut down Wales attacks. Soft hands under huge pressure to put van der Merwe away early in the second half.
12 Sione Tuipulotu – 7.5
Outstanding no-look pass that had Hawkins bamboozled as Jones cut through. Becoming such a key cog in this Scotland side and a perfect foil for Russell.
11 Duhan van der Merwe – 8
The two-try star of last week didn’t get things all his own way this afternoon. He was forced to carry over by Adams and should’ve done better to get in support after Jones’ early break.
10 Finn Russell – 8.5
Provided a stunning offload for Steyn’s first score and a perfect kick for the wing’s second. The same combination so nearly linked up in the first half too. When Scotland click he’s usually at the heart of it.
9 Ben White – 7
Not quite as slick as at Twickenham but came close to putting van der Merwe away with a break down the touchline. Nervy start to the second half with a wild pass.
1 Pierre Schoeman – 7.5
Carried more ball than any other Scot in the first half (6). A silly high tackle on Morgan.
2 George Turner – 8
An all-action showing from the hooker, who did well to finish his try only moments before being sent to the bin for a high tackle on North. His lineout throws were excellent and he’s explosive ball in hand.
3 Zander Fagerson – 6
Still giving away far too many silly penalties, including the one that let Wales back into the game. Worked hard and the pick of the front five defensively with 17 tackles.
4 Richie Gray – 7
The big lock wasn’t to be found galloping in the wide channels like a week ago, but dominated the air as Scotland’s go-to lineout man and chipped in with 14 tackles.
5 Grant Gilchrist – 7
Didn’t carry the ball in the first half and threw a wild pass after van der Merwe had got Scotland moving. Did though chip in with 12 tackles – including a good recovery on Tomos Williams early in the second half – and ensured lineout functioned well.
6 Jamie Ritchie – 8
Excellent turnover penalty on 26 minutes with Wales camped in the Scottish 22. Also showed terrific work rate to collect Steyn’s offload from Russell’s cross-field kick. Lovely no-look pass to free Steyn as Scotland cut loose. Fittingly won the penalty to end the game.
7 Luke Crosbie – 6.5
Didn’t get much joy on the ground but worked tirelessly again, chipping in with a dozen tackles. Sacrificed when Turner went to the bin, and looked to have injured a shoulder moments after returning.
8 Matt Fagerson – 8.5
One of this team’s unsung stars. Backed up his 27 tackles last week with a team best again (19) today, and a dozen carries. Two excellent interventions to stop Carre scoring. Deserved his late try.
16 Fraser Brown – 6
On during Turner’s sin-bin but lost his first lineout. Returned on the hour and was busy, though not to the same effect as the man he replaced.
17 Jamie Bhatti – 6
On for Schoeman on 65 minutes and put Brown under pressure at the scrum.
18 WP Nel – 6
The veteran also joined the action with 15 minutes to go. Helped win a scrum penalty.
19 Jonny Gray – 6
Joined his brother for the final 15 minutes. Helped win a maul turnover shortly after.
20 Jack Dempsey – 5
On for the injured Crosbie five minutes into the second half and gave away a soft penalty for a high tackle.
21 George Horne – 6.5
On for the final quarter to replace White and increased the tempo.
22 Blair Kinghorn – 7.5
The Edinburgh man came on for Hogg early and showed he’s an international class fullback. Used his pace to almost put Steyn away in the first half, before scoring the bonus point try late on. Defensively good too as he put Biggar under pressure on the stroke of half-time.
23 Chris Harris – 5
On for the final stages with the game won, replacing Tuipulotu.
By Gavin Harper, Rugbypass