Scotland v England: Player ratings

Man-for-man marking from the Six Nations match at the Murrayfield in Edinburgh.

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The Independent Online

Following the contest between Scotland and England we take a look at how the individual players performed.

Do you agree with our ratings? Leave your thoughts and comments below.


Allan Jacobsen: Barrelling presence as always but unable to stamp his authority on the scrum or secure ball at the breakdown. Contributed to Scotland’s error count by obstructing English defenders in the second half, wrecking a good attacking opportunity. 5

Ross Ford: Adjusted well to his new role as captain, leading from with some great ball carrying, not to mention an accurate day at the line-out out. Unlucky to be on the losing side and sure to be frustrated at the error strewn display of his colleagues. 7

Euan Murray: Had some joy with ball in hand in the first half but out-rucked at the breakdown by the defensively minded English forwards. But not his fault Scotland didn’t convert several chances. 6

Richie Gray: Carried his superlative World Cup form into this game with a powerful display of running and line-out catching. Great second half break almost resulted in a certain try – until Strokosch inevitably dropped the offload. 7

Jim Hamilton: Unlikely darting break early on seemed to signal a good day for the Scots but Hamilton became less influential as the game wore on. 6

Alasdair Strokosch: Typically diligent, hard-working display, with plenty of grunt at the break down and set-piece. But crucial errors contributed to Scotland’s measly haul of six points. 6

Ross Rennie: Another who put himself about well only to become a liability with the try line from sight. Seemed certain to put Mike Blair in for a second half try but failed to secure the off load and the chance was gone. 5

David Denton: Only his second cap but the best player on the pitch. Made several eye-catching breaks, destroyed the gain line with powerful running and appears a very bright prospect indeed. 8

Chris Cusiter: Made a couple of poor errors but one of Scotland’s better performers – delivered plenty of quick ball to the backs and constantly pressured England around the edges of the scrum, most notably when he sacked an isolated Ashton and won a penalty. 7

Dan Parks: The Aussie born fly half will surely be hurting after that performance. His charged down kick won the game for England and made several poor errors, particularly with his kicking. With Greg Laidlaw lurking, unlikely to keep his place next week. 4

Max Evans: Could be a back-handed compliment, but was Scotland’s best back. Only player to really trouble England with runs from deep, made an excellent first half break and seemed most likely break the home side’s aversion to try-scoring. 7

Sean Lamont: Typically blunt performance from the centre, who willingly tested the gain line all day but rarely threatened the try line. 5

Nick de Luca: Contributed to Scotland’s spiralling error count with several knock on’s. Not the only player guilty of silly drops, but knows he needs to do more in attack if the side are to improve. 5

Lee Jones: Debut to forget for the Edinburgh wing, made no impression in attack and was similarly struck down with butterfingeritis as most of his back colleagues. 5

Rory Lamont: Anonymous game from the full-back. Tried to join into Scotland’s attack but offered little going forward and, like most of the Scottish back, sat too deep to really trouble the English. 5

Pick of the replacements – Greg Laidlaw: Inches away of scoring a deserved Scottish try, only to have the touch judge rule his almost touchdown after a chip-and-chase did not apply sufficient pressure on the ball. Shame but gave the Scots a bit more attacking impetus. 6


Alex Corbisiero: Coped well in the scrum and crucially ferocious in defence, not to mention contributing to England’s disruption of numerous Scottish attacks. 7

Dylan Hartley: Put England’s dubious World Cup behind him with a solid performance – consistently good line-out throwing and strong in defence. 6

Dan Cole: Another good performer who contributed to the prominence of England’s front row. The Leicester prop was effective in staving off Scotland’s relentless second half pressure. 6

Mouritz Botha: Second cap for the South African lock brought a second victory, though he may feel a little unhappy with some loose play at the breakdown which contributed to the plethora of turnovers. 6

Tom Palmer: Quietly effective from one of England’s new leaders. Looked untroubled in the line-out and went through his usual amount of hard graft at the breakdown, where England successfully prevented Scotland from securing clean ball. 6

Tom Croft: Not a game ideally suited to Croft’s dynamic loose play and ball carrying but contributed manfully nonetheless to England’s defensive effort. 6

Chris Robshaw: First game for the new captain wasn’t without the odd hiccup, as the Harlequins flanker occasionally let over-exuberance get the better of him. But overall led his forwards well against stern Scottish pressure and the partisan Murrayfield crowd. 7

Phil Dowson: Thoroughly overshadowed by his opposite number, but grafted hard at the base of the scrum and another who was a mischievous, destructive presence at the breakdown. 6

Ben Youngs: Quiet game from the scrum half but mostly had his hands full plucking the ball from the base of numerous multi-player pile up’s. Struggled to get England going on the front foot. 6

Charlie Hodgson: Anonymous in the first half except when dropping a catch and almost letting Scotland in. But scored an unlikely try after charging down Parks’ clearance in seconds after the break. Still hard to judge whether he’s the answer to England’s fly half riddle. 6

David Strettle: Back in the side but England got the ball wide almost as little as Scotland managed to get the ball over the try line, so not able to show his trademark pace and finishing. 6

Owen Farrell: Debut for Farrell the younger was solid if unspectacular. Kicked well for goal, and made some probing runs with the ball but was largely tied up fending off Scottish runners. 6

Brad Barritt: Slightly outshone his fellow debutant at inside centre, simply by stamping his authority with some juddering hits. Scotland continually ran into trouble when they were within his tackling range. 7

Chris Ashton: Like Strettle failed to see much useful ball, but also got foolishly caught by Cusiter deep in England territory resulting in an easy Scottish three pointer. Not at his sharpest due to sitting in the stands at Northampton. 5

Ben Foden: Failed to get forward much as Scotland pinned England back, particularly in the second half, but was defensively safe both in tackling and under the high ball. 6

Pick of the replacements – Lee Dickson:  England’s raft of replacements didn’t make much impact, but debutant Dickson was a calming influence behind the ruck as England saw the game out. 6