6N: Scotland player ratings (versus Italy)

Italy's Sebastian Negri tackles Scotlands Huw Jones
Italy's Sebastian Negri tackles Scotlands Huw Jones ***Image: Craig Watson© - www.craigwatson.co.uk Craig Watson, craigwatsonpix@icloud.com 07479748060 www.craigwatson.co.uk

Scotland player ratings after they picked up their third win of the championship against Italy in rather unconvincing style.

15. Stuart Hogg – 7 out of 10

Carried 111 yards which was more than twice as many as any other player on the park. Maybe not quite firing on all cylinders and a a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes under the high ball, but his energy levels were key to keeping the Scots going when all seemed lost. Got his first try of the championship and perhaps the most significant he has scored when he pulled Scotland level with ten minutes to go. Laidlaw’s kicking clinched it but Hogg’s influence was key.

14. Tommy Seymour– 6

The game did not go his way but whatever he needed to do he did competently enough.

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13. Huw Jones – 6

One to forget — poor ball management — and badly caught out for Tommy Allan’s first try.

12.  Nick Grigg – 7

Did what he does, running hard, tight lines.

11. Sean Maitland – 6

Sound in defence  and took his try well.

10. Finn Russell – 6

Crazy cross-field kick in 18th minute went straight into the first row of the stand, but even if it had been accurate it would only have slowed Scotland’s momentum. No buzz and failed to control the game when it was beginning to move away from Scotland.

9. Greig Laidlaw – 7

His enforced move to stand-off coincided with Scotland’s fightback. Composure was important at the end but he didn’t boss the game throughout like Scotland need him to if they are going to perform at the level which is now expected of them.  Bold decision to kick late penalty just eight yards in from the right touchline, and nailed it.

1. Gordon Reid – 5

Kept the scrum reasonably firm but was otherwise comparatively invisible.

2. Fraser Brown – 6

Struggled in the early line-outs – though it might not have been totally his fault. Got stuck in about the field. Flopped over for Scotland’s first try.

3. WP Nel – 5

Stuffed in the first scrum but the set-piece was okay after that. Little to offer in broken play and subbed off, along with both his front-row colleagues, at half-time without really making an impact.

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4. Tim Swinson – 6

Battled bravely against a more powerful and cohesive Italian pack but he is no Grant Gilchrist.

5. Jonny Gray – 6

Gave away the penalty that allowed Italy to garb the lead back with just nine minutes to go for malingering on the wrong side of a ruck, which could have been catastrophic had it not been for Laidlaw’s late winner. Worked hard in the semi-tight — but it was a lonely battle.

6. John Barclay – 6

Propelled himself over off the back of powerful Scottish line-out drive as the visitors scrambled their way back into it after ropey start, but they couldn’t build on that score until late revival rescued a win the visitors scarcely deserved. A couple of big steals and no complaints about his work-rate  – but it was hard going.

7. Hamish Watson – 6

Found it tough. Constantly on the back foot against a bigger and stronger Italian back-row.

8. Ryan Wilson – 6

Fell off what should have been a straight forward tackle on Jake Polledri which gifted Italy their third try.


16. Stuart McInally – 5

Probably still ahead of Brown in pecking order on current form

17. Jamie Bhatti – 5

Didn’t bring much to the party.

18. Zander Fagerson  – 5

Didn’t look ready for international rugby – gave the ball away for Tommy Allan’s second try.

19. Richie Gray – 5

Little impact.

20. Dave Denton – 6

Tightened things up.

21. Ali Price – 6

Brought a bit spark to the game.

22. Peter Horne – 5

Looked good.

23. Blair Kinghorn– N/A

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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1206 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.