Scotland World Cup player ratings: One 7 against South Africa in testing afternoon for Scots

Scotland got their World Cup campaign up and running on Sunday, but it was not the result Gregor Townsend and his men hoped for after losing 18-3 to South Africa.

We give each Scotland starter a mark out of ten for their performance against the Springboks at the Stade Velodrome:

Blair Kinghorn: Fumbled a couple of high balls and had few chances to use his pace in attack. Almost latched on to Ali Price’s late grubber but the kick was overhit. 5

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Darcy Graham: Produced a lovely dummy in one searing first-half run but delayed his pass to Duhan van der Merwe and was caught. Unfortunate to have a try chalked off in second half for using the wrong ball. 6

Scotland's Duhan van der Merwe takes down South Africa's Kurt-Lee Arendse during the World Cup clash in Marseille.Scotland's Duhan van der Merwe takes down South Africa's Kurt-Lee Arendse during the World Cup clash in Marseille.
Scotland's Duhan van der Merwe takes down South Africa's Kurt-Lee Arendse during the World Cup clash in Marseille.

Huw Jones: It was a difficult evening for the Scotland midfield and Jones found time and space was at a premium against the physical Boks. 5

Sione Tuipulotu: Limited opportunities in attack for the inside centre who put in a big defensive shift before being replaced by Cameron Redpath on 67 minutes. 6

Duhan van der Merwe: Was well shepherded by South Africa who cut off any open track for him to run into. Impressed under the high ball. 6

Finn Russell: Had a couple of kicks charged down and was denied space to throw those trademark flat, fizzing passes but stuck to task and put in some thumping tackles despite taking a blow to the ribs. Kicked a first-half penalty for Scotland’s only points. 6

Ben White: Up against Faf de Klerk who was a menace at times but White stood up well and tackled hard before making way for Price. 6

Pierre Schoeman: Scotland's props will never have a tougher shift but Schoeman and Co finished the first half on top in the scrum, winning a couple of notable penalties. 6

George Turner: There were problems early on at the lineout which Jamie Ritchie attributed to a missed call. Persisted with the throw to the tail and it worked to release Sione Tuipulotu on one occasion. Won a couple of turnovers. 5

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Zander Fagerson: Like Schoeman, had the toughest of tasks but stuck to it. All the more impressive given he had only played 50 minutes of rugby all season going into this game. 6

Richie Gray: Returned to the World Cup stage after an eight-year absence and played the full 80 minutes on a tough evening in Marseille where the Scotland lineout stuttered at times. 5

Grant Gilchrist: Must also accept culpability for the lineout problems but no-one could fault his tackling, making nine out of nine. 6

Jamie Ritchie: Got involved in a first-half flare-up, rushing in to protect White, and both Scotland players were spoken to by the referee along with the Springbok offenders. A frustrating afternoon for the captain. 6

Rory Darge: Tireless back-row shift during which he made nine tackles. Replaced by Matt Fagerson for the final 16 minutes. 6

Jack Dempsey: Made 11 tackles, the most of any Scot. Was victim of a high tackle in the first minute when Springboks centre Jesse Kriel caught him, head on head. Scotland’s best player. 7

Replacements: New front row of Jamie Bhatti, Dave Cherry and WP Nel came on after 56 minutes along with lock Scott Cummings. Scrum stood firm against the much vaunted South Africa ‘Bomb Squad’ replacements. Matt Fagerson, Price, Redpath and Ollie Smith all came on in the final 14 to 16 minutes in a bid to rescue the game but South Africa held firm.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad