How the Scotland players rated after coming so close to beating New Zealand

New Zealand fought back to defeat Scotland 31-23 at BT Murrayfield, continuing the long wait for a Scots win over All Blacks. We rate the home players involved in this thrilling Autumn Nations Series match ...

Stuart Hogg is unable to hide his dejection at full time despite an excellent performance for Scotland against New Zealand.
Stuart Hogg is unable to hide his dejection at full time despite an excellent performance for Scotland against New Zealand.

The backs

Stuart Hogg (8) put in an excellent performance at full-back, with a clever kick over the All Blacks defence forcing a penalty try. He was clearly up for this one and was dynamic and inventive in equal measure. Winger Darcy Graham (8) scored a fine try and was so close to another. He caused New Zealand problems throughout. On the opposite wing, Duhan van der Merwe (7) made some powerful breaks and enjoyed better service. Chris Harris (6) and Sione Tiupulotu (6) did a lot of work at centre, while Ali Price (6) was diligent at scrum-half. The returning Finn Russell (7) kicked well and tried to prompt attacks. He can be pleased with his day’s work.

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The forwards

Props Pierre Schoeman (6) and Zander Fagerson (6) stood up to the task against the All Blacks front row, but it was hooker Fraser Brown (7) who really shone, with some good throws at line-outs and hard work in attack and defence. Locks Richie Gray (6) and Grant Gilchrist (6) battled away throughout in the breakdown. Flanker Hamish Watson (n/a) was forced off after just 18 minutes with a head knock and failed an HIA. His partner in crime and captain Jamie Ritchie (8) was talismanic, tackling for fun and winning lots of breakdowns. No 8 Matt Fagerson (6) complemented them with his physicality.

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The replacements

Jack Dempsey (5) came on early for Watson but blotted his copybook at a crucial stage with a deliberate knock-on that allowed New Zealand back into the match with his subsequent sinbinning. Rory Sutherland (n/a) came on but then left the pitch with a nasty-looking leg injury. WP Nel (3) appeared for his 50th cap. Jonny Gray (n/a), Ben White (n/a) and Mark Bennett (n/a) came on for the last 15 minutes when Scotland were numerically disadvantaged and hooker Ewan Ashman (n/a) played the final eight minutes.