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Player Ratings: History makers

OPINION: Scotland recorded consecutive wins over England for the first time since 1984 as a late Finn Russell penalty ensured they retained the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield.


A try from debutant Ben White put Scotland 10-6 ahead at the break and despite Marcus Smith crossing, the home side mounted a late comeback to clinch it when Luke Cowan-Dickie slapped the ball off the field.

It was a pulsating contest in Edinburgh that went down to the wire, but the hosts marked Gregor Townsend’s 50th match in charge by getting their hands on the Calcutta Cup for the fourth time in five years.

Gavin Harper rates the Scotland players 

15. Stuart Hogg – 7
Caught twice kicking but looked dangerous when the hosts got the ball to the outside edge. Nearly a horror moment as he saved a 50:22 with Malins putting the pressure on.

14 Darcy Graham – 8.5
Cut England open with a lovely angle as he collected Russell’s pass and put White away for the game’s opening score. Repeated the feat as the game broke up in the second half. Also made an important defensive intervention to hold up a maul as it charged over Scotland’s line and won the turnover to end the game. Caught in two minds at the start of the second half before going off his feet 5m out but did so well to get in the air as Cowan-Dickie infringed.

13. Chris Harris – 6.5
A day for defence – ready-made for the Gloucester man who denied England space to get to the outside and kept Daly and Slade quiet. No opportunities to show his ever-improving attacking game.


12. Sam Johnson – 5
Not a single carry in the first half with Scotland asked to do most of the tackling, but one nice to touch at first receiver allowed Russell space to set Scotland away out wide. Unable to repeat his try-scoring heroics of Twickenham 2019 before he was replaced on the hour.

11. Duhan van der Merwe – 7.5
Glimpses of his ability in broken field that Scotland could should have made better use of. Looks more comfortable under the high ball.

10. Finn Russell – 7
Made the most of his first attacking chance to put Graham through for Scotland’s try despite the attentions of Itoje. To the rescue defensively moments later as England hacked through.

9. Ali Price – 6.5
On the back foot during his 12 minutes before his head injury, but returned with replacement White having put Scotland in front.


1. Rory Sutherland – 5
He hasn’t played a lot after a red card for Worcester, and looked rusty. Was caught at the edge of a ruck which nearly put the visitors away.

2. George Turner – 6
Like his front-row colleague, just one carry in the opening 40 minutes, but nine out of nine lineouts in what can be a problem area.

3. Zander Fagerson – 6
The concession of two free kicks and a penalty at the first scrum would’ve been a worry but he recovered well. Made 12 tackles and seemed to have cut out the off-the-ball nonsense.

4. Jonny Gray – 6.5
The Exeter man missed the autumn through injury but back in the team, he contributed 12 tackles. However, guilty of pulling Ben Youngs into a ruck – a penalty from which England went in front.

5. Grant Gilchrist – 6
Another go-to man for Townsend who runs the lineout and adds physicality to the pack. An assured showing that included 10 tackles and a 100% lineout record.

6. Jamie Ritchie – 6.5
Not at his best but was Scotland’s go-to man in the lineout and made seven tackles before injury forced him off on the hour. An important player for Scotland – Townsend will hope he’s available for the rest of the championship.

7. Hamish Watson – 6
Driven back by Lions colleague Itoje with his only first-half carry and wasn’t able to get into the game after the break as England dominated. Well negated by the visitors at the breakdown.

8. Matt Fagerson – 8
Under pressure for his place but showed he’s up to the rigours of Test rugby. Led the tackle count in a staunch defensive effort including a textbook hit on Slade.

16. Stuart McInally – 6.5
On for Turner for the final half hour and added spark in the loose and played his part at the scrum.

17. Pierre Schoeman – 7
Replaced Sutherland on 50 mins and showed his power in the tight. Dismissed Genge with one carry.

18. WP Nel – 6.5
The veteran gave Marler some difficulties at the scrum and helped win the match-winning penalty.

19. Sam Skinner – 6
On for the final quarter of an hour for Exeter mate Gray and made one outstanding midfield carry to put Scotland on the front foot. The penalty try came a phase later.

20. Magnus Bradbury – 6
Areturn to the international fold for the in-form Edinburgh man, who replaced his striken club colleague Ritchie. Added his heft to the back-row and claimed a vital lineout late on.

21. Ben White – 7
Marked his debut – and early introduction after Price’s injury – with a try. Rewarded for running a wonderful support line asa Graham put the London Irish man away. Added spark when he returned for the final 15 minutes.

22. Blair Kinghorn – N/A

23. Sione Tuipulotu – 6
Replaced Johnson for the final quarter but no opportunities with the game dominated by two packs in the closing stages.

By Gavin Harper, Rugbypass

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