6 Nations: Scotland player ratings – versus Wales

A step forward in terms of performance but not enough firepower for the home side to derail their opponents' Grand Slam bandwagon

Darcy Graham
Darcy Graham cuts a dejected figure as Wales celebrate their second try. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

15. Blair Kinghorn – 5 out of 10

A frustrating afternoon. Failed to collect an early contested kick, and it was as if he wasn’t there when Josh Adams ghosted outside for Wales’ first try. Looked dangerous with ball in hand on a couple of occasions without really opening Wales up, and lost the ball on one occasion whilst trying to force the offload. Came off on 30 minutes with an ankle injury.


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14. Tommy Seymour – 6

Got sucked in during the lead-up to Josh Adams’ try. Looked lively in attack for 20 minutes before going off with a rib injury.

13. Nick Grigg – 7

Pressure was on and he took a step forward. A real handful with the ball in hand and didn’t get turned over in contact. His low-to-the-ground approach earned a high-tackle penalty which established the field position which eventually led to Scotland’s try.

12. Peter Horne – 6

Bounced by Jonathan Davies for second Welsh try. It would have been a great tackle if he’d made it, but Scotland don’t have that sort of physicality, unfortunately.

11. Darcy Graham – 8

Proved that he is more than ready to start at this level. A scintillating break, when he bounced out of at least three tackles, sparked Scotland briefly on 20 minutes. Safe under the high ball and solid in the tackle, although never really under serious pressure. Finished his try superbly. Came off after 64 minutes but injury doesn’t seem to be too serious.

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10. Finn Russell – 7

Missed touch with one penalty to the corner, and his radar was slightly off with a couple of flat passes as he tried to open things up on the outside which meant the receiving man had to check his run. But generally tidy and mixed it up pretty well between running, passing and kicking in behind. Trademark sleight of hand inside to Byron McGuigan ripped Wales wide open in lead-up to Graham’s try.

9. Ali Price – 6

Carried on from where he left off against France last week with plenty of energy, and continued in that vain after moving to the wing, although his tackle on Gareth Anscombe without the ball conceded the penalty which allowed Wales to activate the pressure release valve with five minutes to go.

1. Allan Dell – 7

Another big shift in the loose, including 15 tackles (joint most of any Scots player) and a brilliant 30-yard break, just like an outside centre, which set the tone for the second half. The scrum was under pressure at times but didn’t crack.

2. Stuart McInally – 6

Couple of costly penalties. One for a neck roll on Tomas Francis which killed momentum when Scotland looked like building pressure on the first half, and another for not rolling away which allowed Gareth Anscombe to make is 6-10 on 23 minutes. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but would it have been better for Scotland if their skipper had instructed Russell to go for three points at some point during the second half rather than kicking to the corner and hoping that referee Pascal Gauzere would flash a card?

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3. WP Nel – 6

Straight back into the team and delivered a level of scrum stability which was missing in Paris. Trundled the ball up a few times early on, but without the pace to really get Scotland rolling into gear.

4. Grant Gilchrist – 6

Bad tap-down at a line-out on Scotland’s line put the team under pressure in the final minute of first half. Got over the line at start of the second half but couldn’t get the ball down. But generally delivered another industrious performance.

5. Jonny Gray – 6

More spark here than in his previous two outings. His work-rate has never been in question, and he was joint top Scottish tackler on this occasion with 15, but influence was some way short of his totemic opposite number Alun Wyn Jones.

6. Magnus Bradbury – 7

Scotland’s top carrier with 90 metres gained, and also chipped in with 13 tackles. Isn’t really a tackle-burster but has the bulk and strength to usually get over the gain-line – just not quite as quickly as Scotland needed at times.

7. Jamie Ritchie – 7

Plenty of aggression and work-rate, as always. Hamish Watson will surely start against England, so the big question is whether Ritchie will shift across to blind-side?

8. Josh Strauss – 7

Offered himself up to carry the ball 13 times, making 57-metres, before being replaced by Watson on 64 minutes.


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16. Fraser Brown – 6

Early cameo at flanker when both Ritchie and Watson were off for blood, and got 10 minutes towards the end.

17. Gordon Reid – N/A

Did not get on.

18. Simon Berghan – 5

Played the final 16 minutes after replacing WP Nel.

19. Ben Toolis – 6

Added impetus during the final quarter.

20. Hamish Watson – 7

Lived up to his ‘Pinball’ nickname when he came on after 64 minutes, making a huge impact with a couple of bustling runs which saw him bounce off several red shirts as he battled his way upfield, which put Scotland back on the front foot as the game moved into the final quarter.

21. Greig Laidlaw– 6

There didn’t seem to be a discernible drop-off in tempo when he took over from Ali Price with 16 minutes to go, but he couldn’t mastermind a way past (or through) Wales’ resolute defence as Scotland tried to overturn the four point deficit.

22. Adam Hastings – 7

Came on for Kinghorn on the half hour and looked assured playing out of position at full-back. All those hours watching the old man’s highlights reels must have had some sort of subliminal learning value. Huge try-saving tackle on Adams just before half-time, and played a crucial role in lead-up to Graham try. Depending on how Scotland’s back-three injury situation pans out, could become an option at 15 at Twickenham next week

23. Byron McGuigan – 7

Looked a bit handless early on after replacing Kinghorn on 20 minutes, but grew into the game and his willingness to come onto the ball with pace and aggression caused Wales problems, especially during lead-up to Graham’s try.


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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1143 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

3 Comments

  1. Can’t agree with the Horne comment for the second try. He exctracated himself from the preceding ruck sprinted past three of his own players to try and fill a gap that they had left, before arriving at an oncoming Jonathon Davies in full flow. It was the defensive alignment that was criminal not his last gasp effort to stop Davies. Too many people are far too quick to criticise Pete Horne. He put in some big tackles throughout the game and has always contributed positively in a Scotland shirt.
    The overhyped Blair Kinghorn’s contributions should be examined more closely. Always out of position and never the bravest. He is selfish with the ball and has an enormous amount to learn still.

  2. Agree with Dave Spence.Might also dock a point from Peter Horne for his tendency to run into wrap tackles and slow or stop the attack.

  3. Can’t fault your scoring with the exception of Kinghorn. Would probably have scored him slightly lower based upon the fact that whilst he makes breaks he seems to have an inability to see that he has support players, sometimes on both sides.

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