Scotland 27 - 22 Ireland: Player ratings

Scotland recorded their first opening day win in the RBS Six Nations in 11 years with a late win over Ireland. How did the players rate on each side?
Scotland overcame Ireland in the opening match of the 2017 RBS Six Nations. Picture: SPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty ImagesScotland overcame Ireland in the opening match of the 2017 RBS Six Nations. Picture: SPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Scotland overcame Ireland in the opening match of the 2017 RBS Six Nations. Picture: SPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images


STUART HOGG: Reacted brilliantly to pick up a dodgy pass for the early opener before making a fool out of Keith Earls for the second. Looks like the Lions 15 jersey is his to lose. 8/10

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SEAN MAITLAND: Defensively outstanding, with his game-saving tackle on Rob Kearney keeping the Scots in the game. 7

HUW JONES: The Stormers centre played a crucial role in Scotland’s second touchdown but too many missed tackles saw him replaced by Mark Bennett with 20 minutes remaining. 6

ALEX DUNBAR: Spotted a chink in the Irish defence as he slipped through to finish off a cheeky line-out move but will be frustrated by an inconsistent display. 6

TOMMY SEYMOUR: Missed the chance to stop Earls grabbing Ireland’s try but did brilliantly to rescue Scotland on the stroke of half-time after Dunbar’s intercepted pass put them in danger. 7

FINN RUSSELL: Big things have been expected of the Glasgow fly-half but he seemed overawed by the occasion and lacked his usual spark. 6

GREIG LAIDLAW: The Dark Blues skipper kept his nerve when his side needed it most, nailing two late penalties to hand the Dark Blues a precious win. 8

ALLAN DELL: Struggled to get to grips with Tadhg Furlong as Scotland were put under pressure at the scrum. 5

FRASER BROWN: Started in place of Ross Ford but a facial knock suffered early meant the centurion hooker was introduced after 27 minutes. 5

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ZANDER FAGERSON: Had a tough task standing in for WP Nel but his carry and work at the breakdown made him an able understudy. 7

RICHIE GRAY: The giant lock put on a breathless display to help halt Ireland as they threatened to pinch the victory. 7

JONNY GRAY: Could have helped out Dell a little more at the scrum but otherwise put in his usual workhorse performance. 7

RYAN WILSON: Always eager to get on the front foot but did not always make a dent on the visitors’ line. 6

HAMISH WATSON: Vital tackles on Sean O’Brien and Paddy Jackson during the first period. Ran out of steam after the break. 7

JOSH STRAUSS: Not the kind of swashbuckling display he shows for Glasgow but stood up when Scotland needed him most. 6

REPLACEMENTS: Ford and John Barclay gave the Scots’ pack some much needed experience but Bennett was too easily beaten when Paddy Jackson briefly nudged Ireland ahead.


ROB KEARNEY: An off-kilter day all-round for the Leinster man who struggled to find his usual defensive rhythm. 4

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KEITH EARLS: Took his try well but was at fault for Hogg’s score when the Glasgow star ghosted through Ireland’s midfield all too easily. 5

GARRY RINGROSE: Unable to offer any tangible attacking threat on a tough day for the hugely-gifted Leinster star. 4

ROBBIE HENSHAW: A pale shadow of his barnstorming autumn form that saw the Leinster centre produce a sterling showing in the victory over New Zealand. 4

SIMON ZEBO: Ground away well and produced the scoring pass for Earl’s try but was otherwise unimpressive. 4

PADDY JACKSON: Solid effort from the Ulster playmaker without ever managing to cut loose; took his try well. 6

CONOR MURRAY: Subdued showing from the scrum-half who definitely suffered under special treatment from Scotland at the breakdown. 5

JACK McGRATH: Bossed the scrum as Ireland demolished Scotland’s set-piece game. 6

RORY BEST: Tidy enough effort from the Ulster stalwart but the captain lacked his usual commanding leadership. 6

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TADHG FURLONG: Dominated Scotland at the scrum to press his British and Irish Lions claims still further. 7

IAIN HENDERSON: Took his try well in a good effort but was another who lacked the kind of rudder that would have turned the game. 6

DEVIN TONER: Unusually dominated at the lineout in a difficult day for the mainstay of Joe Schmidt’s Ireland pack. 5

CJ STANDER: A quiet performance by his usual lofty standards, the South Africa-born flanker failed to bully the Scotland back-row. 6

SEAN O’BRIEN: So nearly wrestled the game back for the visitors with consistently powerful ball carrying in the second half. 7

JAMIE HEASLIP: Well below what he would expect of himself in a day of too many turnovers and penalties conceded. 4

REPLACEMENTS: Ireland’s bench were unable to hand Joe Schmidt’s men the impetus to steal a win they would hardly have deserved.