Rugby World Cup: Scotland player ratings for win over Tonga as two backs are stand-out performers

Scotland recorded their first win of the 2023 Rugby World Cup with a 45-17 victory against Tonga.
Duhan van der Merwe shone for Scotland against Tonga.Duhan van der Merwe shone for Scotland against Tonga.
Duhan van der Merwe shone for Scotland against Tonga.

We give each player who started the match in Nice a mark out of ten for their performance in a Scotland jersey.

Blair Kinghorn: Thought he had given Scotland the perfect start but his try was chalked off because he touched down inches short of the line. Did score in the second half and offered plenty threat in attack. 7

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Kyle Steyn: Scored his tenth try for Scotland – and his fifth against Tonga – in a busy performance before making way for Darcy Graham early in the second half. 7

Chris Harris: Added a physical edge against powerful opponents and offered defensive ballast to allow Finn Russell and Sione Tuipulotu to lead the Scotland attack. 7

Sione Tuipulotu: Excellent link-up play with Russell saw the pair provide Scotland’s backline with plenty of ammunition in the seven-try victory. 8

Duhan van der Merwe: Scored one try and could have had more. One stunning broken-field run in the second-half looked like creating a wonder try. As it was, he set up one for George Horne shortly after. 8

Finn Russell: Interchanged effectively with Tuipulotu as he found far more space to play with than he had against South Africa. Took over captaincy from injured Jamie Ritchie. 7

Ben White: Scrum-half provided plenty of attacking thrust with quick ball from base of the scrum and a couple of sniping runs. 7

Rory Sutherland: Conceded an early scrum penalty was solid on his return to the starting side. Replaced by Pierre Schoeman early in the second half. 6

George Turner: Scored the first try from a lineout drive. His throwing-in was on point following the lineout problems that blighted Scotland against South Africa. 7

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Zander Fagerson: Fronted up well against Tongan pack as Scotland scrum did its job. WP Nel took over in the second half. 6

Richie Gray: Led the lineout well after being disappointed with how the set-piece had gone against South Africa. 6

Scott Cummings: Back in the starting XV and took his opportunity with a hard-carrying performance against extremely physical opponents. 7

Jamie Ritchie: Forced off after 33 minutes when on the receiving end of a high tackle from Tongan winger Afusipa Taumoepeau. Will now miss the Romania game. 4

Rory Darge: Impressive at the breakdown and scored a try to cap a fine performance. Expect to be rested next week with Ireland game in mind. 7

Jack Dempsey: Abrasive ball-carrying performance from the No 8, particularly in the first half. 7