15. Stuart Hogg– 8 out of 10
Couldn’t stop Thomas in lead-up to first try, partly because he was caught flat footed, and partly because he collided with Guilhelm Guirado as he tried to scrag he French winger down. Always a threat with the ball in hand, making 120 metres – more than twice as many as any other player on the park. Pace and intent makes things happen around about even when there is no room for himself.
14. Tommy Seymour – 6
Never really in the game.
13. Huw Jones – 7
Hit a brilliant line for an excellent finish at the end of a great passage of play for Scotland’s second try, and was involved earlier in the movement with an exquisite back-handed flip which released Tommy Seymour up the right touchline. He did a job at 12 last week but far more effective in the 13 channel. Back to his November form.
12. Peter Horne – 6
Was up against it when trying to get across to cover Russell’s missed tackle on Thomas, but should perhaps have been able to slow the French winger down enough to allow the rest of the cover to get across. Did exactly what was asked of him as a steadying influence in the middle of the park, and fears that he might be overrun in that inside centre channel by France’s heavy artillery proved unfounded.
11. Sean Maitland – 7
Try in the corner got Scotland back into it after another disastrous start, but twice sucked infield to leave Scotland exposed on the wing and Teddy Thomas took full advantage on both occasions.
10. Finn Russell – 5
Was most culpable of the three tacklers who allowed Teddy Thomas in for the first try, although why he ended up marking the dangerous French winger is anyone’s guess.
Kicking was hit and miss – but mainly miss – including one shocker midway through the first half which went out on the full just after his forwards had done well to snaffle line-out ball. Worse was to come when Scotland earned a penalty on the halfway line almost immediately after France’s second try, presenting a golden opportunity to re-establish a foothold in the match – to kick it dead was criminally careless. And did the same again at the start of the second half!
9. Greig Laidlaw – 8
Spooked by the bounce of the ball for Thomas’ second try and missed a bad tackle at the start of the second half, so not a flawless performance from the official man-of-the-match. What Scotland might have lost in zip from the base was more than compensated for in his clear thinking and game management, especially during the moments of turbulence. Moved to stand-off and directed operations expertly during the final 16 minutes as Scotland edged past France into the lead. Kicked eight from eight, including a brilliant conversion from the touchline.
1. Gordon Reid – 6
Penalised for dropping his knee at first scrum. Worked hard around the park. Replaced by Bhatti just before the hour mark.
2. Stuart McInally – 6
Another big shift from a player who is making the most of his opportunity to shine on the international stage after years stranded on the fringes.
3. Simon Berghan – 8
Busy round the park – 13 carries was only surpassed by Hogg – and the scrum stacked up on his side. Played the full 80 minutes, which is an astonishing achievements given his lack of experience at this level and the fact that this was his first game in six weeks.
4. Grant Gilchrist – 8
Monstrous work-rate, some thundering carries and even a bit of nifty handling in the lead up to Maitland’s try. Gave away a penalty for climbing over his opposite number at a line-out just before half-time, but it is a fine line between being competitive and straying into the ref’s bad books – and as a ferocious competitor he will inevitably take it a touch too far from time to time. Replaced just before the hour mark.
5. Jonny Gray – 7
Knocked a few Frenchmen over with the ball in hand. Scotland’s top tackler with 13. Perpetual motion for 80 minutes. Combined well with Gilchrist in the engine-room.
6. John Barclay – 6
Penalised for leaving his feet to seal off the ball at a rack in front of the posts which allowed Machenaud to extend France to extend their lead to ten points with only nine minutes played. Had a huge line-out steel in the first half but struggled to impose himself the way he did in November.
7. Hamish Watson – 7
Controlled aggression set the tone from the beginning. It is not about the size of the dog in the fight – it is about the size of the fight in the dog.
8. Ryan Wilson – 7
Provided that little extra oomph to the back-row which had been so conspicuously absent in Cardiff. Scotland’s ability to go wide depends on the likes of Wilson rolling the game into gear through carrying the hard yards closer in.
– Replacements –
16. Scott Lawson– N/A
17. Jamie Bhatti – 6
Got a shove on the French with his first scrum on the park to earn the penalty which allowed Laidlaw to tie the match at 26-26
18. Jon Welsh – N/A
19. Ben Toolis – 6
Added some valuable energy after coming on 57th minute.
20. Dave Denton – 7
Apart from the fact that a Scotland international should never represent the nation whilst sporting such an awful haircut, the big man did alright. Some huge carries during his 16 minutes.
21. Ali Price – 6
Will have been glad to get on the park to shake any residue frustration from last week out of the system. Proved the obvious: that he has not become a bad player overnight.
22. Chris Harris – N/A
23. Blair Kinghorn – N/A