As a fervent England fan I will do my best not to sound like the mardy bastard I am currently being (mardy means moody or a sore looser for anyone that isn’t from the north of England). For the neutral that must have been a cracking game, as I had written in this weeks preview I said “Scotland’s hopes will rest on the brilliant Hamish Watson and whether or not he can slow England’s breakdown up or not”, and for the first time in my life, I was correct. Scotland decimated England at the breakdown, giving the men un white little to no quick ball in the first half. Anyway, lets look at this weeks player ratings.
15 Stuart Hogg, 7/10. For a change not the x factor in the Scottish back line. Didn’t put a foot wrong though.
14 Tommy Seymour, 7/10. Effective and always a threat, a very underrated winger. Like Hogg, was very solid.
13 Huw Jones 9/10. Outstanding today, always looked a threat. England couldn’t handle his running lines and took his two tries well. Gain Line Star Man
12 Peter Horne, 8/10. A great foil for Jones, does all the solid stuff in the midfield which allows Jones to express himself.
11 Sean Maitland, 8/10. Typical of many players brought through the kiwi rugby institutions. Does the simple things very well and takes his chances when they are presented.
10 Finn Russell, 9/10. One of his finest games in the Scotland shirt. Not everyone’s cup of tea but when he’s in this form he’s nearly unplayable.
9 Greig Laidlaw, 7/10. Like Horne acts as Jones’ counterfoil, Laidlaw does for Russell. The scrum half is the calming influence to the team and a crucial player with his place kicking.
1 Gordon Reid, 7/10. Kept the scrums solid and worked hard in the loose. Seems to have staked his place as Scotland’s best loosehead for years to come.
2 Stuart Mcinally, 7/10. As a former back rower he is always impressive around the park, but for a couple of lineouts his set piece was almost as good.
3 Simon Berghan, 7/10. Tall at 6 foot 4 for a prop but his engagement height really anchored the Scotland scrum well. A good honest worker you need up front.
4 Grant Gilchrist, 7/10. Good set piece work from the big second row and defended extremely well.
5 Jonny Gray, 8/10. Like nearly every game he plays Gray came out as the top tackler. I really don’t think there is a harder working player in world rugby.
6 John Barclay ©, 8/10. Some crucial turnovers when England were threatening the Scotland goal line. A real captains performance.
7 Hamish Watson, 9/10. Unbelievable at the breakdown, up there with the best in the world in his position. England will be gutted they let the Manchester born openside slip through their fingers. Class.
8 Ryan Wilson, 7/10. Carried well and did nothing wrong. Slightly overshadowed by his backrow partners but still a fine game.
15 Mike Brown, 5/10. Was nowhere near the standards of the Wales game. Made very little impact in attack.
14 Anthony Watson, 6/10. A couple of moments from the winger but just never got the ball.
13, Jonathan Joseph, 5/10. Totally schooled by his opposite number today, in all honesty looked pretty poor.
12 Owen Farrell, 6/10. Apparently was involved in a scuffle in the tunnel before the game, maybe he should save that energy for playing next time. Took his try well though.
11 Jonny May, 6/10. Tried his best when he got the ball but was well martialled every time. The lad always gives it his all.
10 George Ford, 4/10. Did he play? I don’t remember his touching the ball.
9 Danny Care, 7/10. Always looking to spark life into the England attack but was given no platform and very poor ball to work with.
1 Mako Vunipola, 6/10. The scrum was solid and contributed with some good carries.
2 Dylan Hartley ©, 6/10. Set piece was good, maybe lacking the usual fire the controversial skipper has.
3 Dan Cole, 5/10. Non existent in the loose but kept the scrum pretty solid. Not much to say really, distinctly average?
4 Joe Launchbury, 5/10. Worked his socks off like usual but gave really silly penalties away at crucial stages of the game.
5 Maro Itoje, 5/10. Personally I think Eddie’s golden child needs a big performance as he hasn’t performed in this championship as of yet. Should be looking over his shoulder.
6 Courtney Lawes, 6/10. Some trademark big hits, will be very disappointed in the decision to disallow Farrell’s try through his knock on.
7 Chris Robshaw, 6/10. Tireless worker but cant help but think his game is better suited to the number 6 shirt. Maybe time for Underhill?
8 Nathan Hughes, 7/10. Did well on his come back, looked like England’s only attacking threat at times. Can hold his head up high.