Scotland v France player ratings - News & Comment - Rugby Union - The Independent

Scotland v France player ratings

Man-for-man marking from the Six Nations match at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh

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

Scotland

Allan Jacobsen:

Jacobsen started the game reasonably well with some good carries but the disintegration of the Scottish scrum in the latter stages made things difficult for the home side. 5/10

Ross Ford:

Some big carries and another solid lineout display from the Scottish captain. 7/10

Geoff Cross:

Cross worked diligently in the loose, but had a difficult time against the French loose-head, Jean-Baptiste Poux. 5/10

Richie Gray:

Gray continues to impress with his athleticism and ability to offload in the tackle. He is dynamic and worked extremely hard to try and generate some quick ball for his side at ruck-time. 7/10

James Hamilton

Good stuff from Hamilton who went well at the line-out and showed some nice touches to shift the point of attack when Scotland had the ball. 6/10

John Barclay:

Barclay carried well and made a crucial turnover for Lee Jones’ try which brought Scotland right back into the game. However the French back row were usually able to generate quicker ball for their side than the Scots were. 6/10

Ross Rennie:

Rennie was the pick of the Scottish back row continuing his form from last week, stripping French players of the ball on 2 occasions and making a nuisance of himself at the breakdown. 7/10

David Denton:

Denton’s athleticism and offloading ability in tandem with that of Richie Gray is making the Scottish pack look like a much more accomplished unit than before, although one could argue that he could have done more to stop Fofana on the way to his try. 6/10

Mike Blair:

Blair was brilliant for the half an hour that he lasted today. Had he survived the whole 80 minutes, the result could have been different. 8/10

Greig Laidlaw:

Decent from Laidlaw, who still appears to have some developing to do if he is to stave off competition from the likes of Duncan Weir on the bench. His kicking can sometimes be suspect and a lot of the Scottish attacking play from set piece took place a bit too far behind the gainline to really threaten the French midfield defence. 6/10

Lee Jones:

Jones had probably his best game of the 6 Nations today, looking threatening with ball in hand a finishing off a good try. 7/10

Greame Morrison:

Morrison moved back into the 12 shirt today and carried strongly, tackling well and seeming a better fit in the role than Lamont, particularly in light of a few mistakes made by De Luca after his introduction. 7/10

Sean Lamont:

Not Lamont’s best game today. He came into things a little more with some barrelling runs later on but struggling to really impose himself on proceedings. 5/10

Rory Lamont:

Off with a nasty looking injury after half an hour, after settling down reasonably well. Hopefully the knock isn’t as bad as it seemed. 5/10

Stuart Hogg:

Scotland’s most dangerous runner on an impressive first start for the 19 year old. Took his try well and was a constant threat from broken field. 8/10

Pick of the replacements: Chris Cusiter

Cusiter was lively and did his best to keep Scotland moving forward in the tone set by Mike Blair before his withdrawal. 7/10

France

Jean-Baptiste Poux

Poux laid the groundwork for the destruction of the Scottish scrum with a good display in the first half. He isn’t a prop that you’ll see bombing about in the loose but knows his job and performs it well. 7/10

Dimitri Szarzewski:

Today was always going to be a challenge for Szarzewski, and few loose throws against a good Scottish unit that hadn’t lost a lineout in the competition until today wasn’t ideal for his side. Elsewhere however, he tackled well and defended strongly around the ruck. 6/10

Nicolas Mas:

Mas made life hard for Alan Jacobsen and got his rewards with some great scrummaging towards the end of the game. 7/10

Pascal Papé:

More quiet than his second row partner, but the speed of the French ball suggested a good work-rate and effective breakdown management from the tight 5. 6/10

Yoann Maestri:

Maestri grew into the game with some good tackles and important carrying work. 7/10

Thierry Dusautoir:

Another masterclass from Dusautoir, who ensures quick ball for his side and denies it to the opposition with frightening effectiveness. 8/10

Imanol Harinordoquy:

Harinordoquy must also take credit for the speed of the French ball, creating the go-forward with his carrying and working well at the breakdown too. 6/10

Louis Picamoles:

Picamoles had an easy ride at the base of the scrum and looked in total control when picking up to give his side a good attacking platform. 6/10

Morgan Parra:

Parra was solid with the boot and his penalties kept France in the game when Scotland were on top in the first half. His unfussy play ensures his outside half good quality quick ball to get the big centres on their way. 7/10

François Trinh-Duc:

The fly-half ran right over Laidlaw in the build up to Fofana’s try, showing a more muscular side of his game to add to his slick passing and creative kicking. 7/10

Julien Malzieu:

Malzieu showed brilliant strength when walking over Nick De Luca to set up Medard’s try. Elsewhere he was quiet, but that crucial piece of play took the game away from Scotland around the 60 minute mark. 6/10

Wesley Fofana:

Fofana picked some great lines today, particularly the one for his try. His introduction to the French side has given them some real bite and go-forward, almost always beating the first man and at least busting over the gainline. 8/10

Aurélien Rougerie:

Rougerie’s reading of the game from 13 is brilliant and his strength in partnership with Fofana provides France with guaranteed gainline success. 7/10

Vincent Clerc:

Reasonably quiet today from the lethal winger. Didn’t really get a chance to show us what he can do with ball in hand, but made no mistakes either. 5/10

Maxime Médard:

Medard looked like France’s most dangerous runner with a few good breaks and a good support line for his try. 7/10

Pick of the replacements: Lionel Beauxis

Nothing particularly spectacular from Beauxis but hit a good drop-goal an kept France going forward well. Mention also to Vincent Debaty who drove home the advantage at scrum time. 7/10

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