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Player ratings: Scotland

OPINION: It wasn’t always convincing in a game littered with errors on both sides, but ultimately Scotland won’t care after getting their Six Nations campaign back on track with a record-equalling fourth straight win over England, the first time that has happened since 1972.


The hosts recovered from an early 10-0 deficit to move 17-10 ahead by half-time and kept England at arm’s length after Duhan van der Merwe became the first Scot to score a hat-trick in a Calcutta Cup encounter.

Bryn Palmer rates the Scotland players!

15. Blair Kinghorn – 5.5
Back after missing the first two games against Wales and France, the Toulouse full-back caught the opening kick-off in masterful fashion but then misjudged the next couple of high balls. Recovered well with one or two strong counters, but not an authoritative display.

14. Kyle Steyn – 6.5
Took over from Glasgow teammate Kyle Rowe after missing the France game when his wife went into labour, he mopped up danger well at the back, chased kicks hard and made a few solid incursions off the right flank with ball in hand. Could never really escape but a solid presence.

13. Huw Jones – 7
Left exposed by Tuipulotu as Daly sliced through his midfield channel for Furbank’s try, but showed his class in attack with a brilliant break and offload for Van der Merwe’s opening try, and was alive to the opportunity after Furbank’s knock-on to release Van der Merwe again for his second score.

 12. Sione Tuipulotu – 6

Indecision in defence created the gap for Daly to set up Furbank’s try, but put his centre partner Jones through a hole for the incisive break leading to Van der Merwe’s opener, and some powerful midfield carries got from Scotland on the front foot. Failed to reappear for the second half.


11. Duhan van der Merwe – 9
His first carry led to him being penalised for holding on, but his devastating finishing thereafter saw him become the first Scotsman to score a hat-trick in a Calcutta Cup match. Took his opener well with a nice dummy and his second, from 10m inside his own half, showed his devastating pace and power. Collected Russell’s precise cross-kick for his third to take his tally to 26 tries in 37 Tests, and six in four against England. Up to second place on his own on Scotland’s all-time try-scoring list, one behind Stuart Hogg’s record. Yellow card late on as he was being announced as player-of-the-match.

10. Finn Russell – 7
Some of his first-half kicking from hand was a little aimless, but grew into the game and was enjoying himself by the end. Not always convincing but saw the space brilliantly to execute the cross-kick for Van der Merwe’s third try, and his 100% success rate off the tee for a third successive game – with six out of six at goal – was crucial to keeping England at arm’s length.

9. Ben White – 6.5
Exposed under an early high ball out wide but the Toulon scrumhalf steadied himself, providing a tidy service, some solid clearing kicks and one good tackle earned a first-half turnover. One or two snipes but unable to escape the English clutches. Also contributed nine tackles to the cause.


1. Pierre Schoeman – 7
Another big contribution from the loosehead prop, always available for a close-range carry and made another dozen tackles, with one on Ford helping to shift the momentum into Scotland’s favour. One penalty was conceded for holding on, but can be happy with his afternoon’s work.

2. George Turner – 6
A couple of his lineout throws to the tail were picked off by the English jumpers in the first half, and one no-look pass that went to ground won’t look good in the Monday debrief. But otherwise solid and made several punishing carries in traffic. Gave way for Ashman after 55 minutes.

3. Zander Fagerson – 7
Forced off early on for a HIA detected by his mouthguard, Scotland were relieved to see him return to the fray 10 minutes later. Scrummaged well, carried hard at close quarters and another big shift in defence too. Replaced by Alex Hepburn just after the hour.

4. Grant Gilchrist – 6
Another day of hard graft for the Edinburgh lock, toiling away in the tight exchanges and contributing well at the set-piece with a few lineout takes. Won’t be happy at fumbling one England restart, but otherwise a solid outing.

5. Scott Cummings – 8.5
One of his best displays for Scotland. Stepped up superbly with a dominant outing in the set-piece and in the tight exchanges. Go-to source of lineout ball and stole England’s lineout to create the position which led to Van der Merwe’s hat-trick score. Scotland’s joint-leading tackler with 15, a couple of them dominant. Big shift from the Glasgow lock.

6. Jamie Ritchie – 5
Restored to the side after his omission against France, the former captain put in half-a-dozen tackles but was unable to bring his presence to bear at the breakdown. Swift pass from a ruck gave Russell time to create Van der Merwe’s third, but not the imposing performance he would have wanted. Made way for Christie after 53 minutes.

7. Rory Darge – 7
Not so prominent with ball in hand as he was against France, but another tireless effort in defence, leading the tackle count alongside Cummings with 15. But never far from the action and thrived in a harum-scarum nature of the second half as the game broke up further.

8. Jack Dempsey – 6.5
Still struggling to fully impose himself in an attacking sense, but scavenged well around the fringes and a big contributor to the defensive effort with 14 tackles. Also took a couple of lineouts at the tail.

16. Ewan Ashman – 6.5
Replaced Turner early in the second half and his lineout darts were on point, with a 100% success rate. Also won a couple of important turnovers. Pushing hard for a starting spot.

17. Alec Hepburn – 5
Took over from Schoeman for the final quarter and held his end up at scrum-time, but not so visible in the loose as he might have liked.

18. Elliot Millar-Mills – 4.5
Thrust into the fray after just seven minutes owing to Fagerson’s HIA, he was penalised for collapsing at his first scrum and then conceded another penalty for going off his feet before departing 10 minutes later. Back on just after the hour and weighed in with half-a-dozen tackles.

19. Sam Skinner – 5.5
On for Grant Gilchrist with 13 minutes left. Immediately into the fray with a close-quarters carry and helped Scotland get over the line this time.

20. Andy Christie – 6.5
On for Jamie Ritchie after 53 minutes and showed up well with a couple of incisive carries. Also a good option in the lineout, continuing the good impression he made against France. Would not be a surprise to see him start in Rome next time out.

21. George Horne – 5
Sent on for White after 63 minutes and helped keep the tempo high as Scotland maintained the pressure on England.

22. Ben Healy – N.A.
Left on the bench against Wales and France, he came on with eight minutes left as a temporary blood replacement for Redpath, before departing again four minutes later. At least he can say he has involved in a winning Calcutta Cup performance.

23. Cameron Redpath – 5.5
Replaced Tuipulotu for the second half and showed his talent by dealing with a dangerous England kick in his own half, turning on his heels and sprinting away to create the position for Van der Merwe’s hat-trick score. Flimsy tackle attempt allowed Feyi-Waboso to score too easily though. Forced off with a bleeding nose before returning for the final knockings.


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