Scotland v South Africa: How Scotland players rated

Ross Ford prepares for a challenge from Eben Etzebeth
Ross Ford prepares for a challenge from Eben Etzebeth
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THE Scotsman’s sports writers rate Scotland players’ performances in the wake of their defeat to the Springboks

15 Stuart Hogg

Mostly looking on from afar as the Boks kept it tight, but always willing. Kicking improved after first attempt failed to find touch. 6/10

14 Sean Lamont

Worked hard with scarce resources and carried a threat in possession that was absent elsewhere on the pitch. 7

13 Nick de Luca

No defensive lapses but 
often caught in possession 
and, going forward, never 
really gained any territory. 6

12 Matt Scott

Another match and a sixth cap go a long way towards confirming his potential to make the inside centre berth his own. 7

11 Tim Visser

The chance to show his speed and finishing ability never 
arose as he was forced to concentrate on sometimes shaky defence. 6

10 Greig Laidlaw

Anonymous throughout and could neither control the game nor stamp any sense of identity on it before being replaced by Ruaridh Jackson late on. 5

9 Mike Blair

Lack of incisiveness benefited South Africa with Scotland too predictable behind the pack. Telegraphed his pass for Strauss’s interception try and was then replaced early 
in second half. 5

1 Ryan Grant

A storming performance by 
the Kirkcaldy-born loosehead prop as he held his own for 
80 minutes and disrupted 
the Boks in the loose. 8

2 Ross Ford

Plenty of physical grunt and good tackling but lineout throwing was a bit of a lottery again until he was replaced after 68 minutes. 6

3 Euan Murray

Back at tighthead, he did a reasonable job of anchoring the scrum and his fair share of ball carrying before Geoff Cross took over for last 12 minutes. 6

4 Richie Gray

Just getting into his giant stride in the first half when he was double-team tackled by flankers Louw and Alberts and had to withdraw with a head knock. 5

5 Jim Hamilton

An effective and destructive contribution that kept reminding South Africa that this game could go either way if Scotland started to win better possession. 6

6 Kelly Brown

Prodigious workrate from the captain against a tireless South African back row and the controlled tap down at the lineout to give Henry Pyrgos a try was a bonus. 7

7 John Barclay

Last-minute recall to the openside, did a power of work at the breakdown but always spoiling rather than creating. 6

8 David Denton

The pick of the Scotland back row with a series of crunching tackles and effective ball carrying that severely blunted the Boks’ cutting edge. 8


Al Kellock came on after Richie Gray was injured in the first half and made a big contribution in the loose. Henry Pyrgos replaced Mike Blair at scrum half after 47 minutes and, within minutes, had scored Scotland’s only try. Dougie Hall, Geoff Cross and Ruaridh Jackson came on at hooker, tighthead, and stand-off respectively after 68 minutes. Kyle Traynor, Stuart McInally and Peter Murchie were not used.