Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Scotland Player Ratings

Sco v Aus - pic © Al Ross
Sco v Aus - pic © Al Ross

Sean Maitland – Busy and generally competent display. Made occasional errors from the boot and received some rough treatment at times. Slightly ponderous for Scotland’s best chance of a try, looked like he wished he could pass to himself on the wing. 6/10

Tommy Seymour – Good game from Seymour. Aggressive, inventive and full of running in attack, whilst remaining stoically solid in defence. Made some good runs and generally looked like he belongs at this level. Pick of the backs. 7/10

Nick De Luca – Quiet night in attack but made up for it in defence. Seems to be trying to play as a ‘crash-ball’ centre to not much effect. Surely his step is his best asset? So why play to his size weakness? Makes no sense. 5/10

Duncan Taylor – Better than last week by a country mile. Actually looked competent and made some decisions that were positive for once. Very brave to take a loose ball in the second half which left him concussed and substituted. 6/10

Sean Lamont – Should. Have. Scored. I guess the downside of playing a centre on the wing is that he’s not going to jink very much but he should have cut inside and dotted down. And he knows it. Otherwise fine. 6/10

Duncan Weir – Ducked a few tackles, spun a few flat balls, dropped a couple of easy passes and sent some wayward kicks. Mixed night for the Glasgow player as he neither convinced at stand-off nor was the disaster that Jackson was last week. 5/10

Greig Laidlaw – In my opinion he was Scotland’s best player before being prematurely substituted. Clever breaks, brave runs and dead-eye accuracy from the boot (apart from the last kick). Given breathing space in attack and defence this week. Should have stayed on. 7/10

Ryan Grant – Wasn’t very enamoured with Mr Grant tonight. Apart from being stepped for the first Aussie try he was largely anonymous in the loose, failed to dominate in the scrum and generally looked a bit out of sorts. Shepard’s crook came out early in the 2nd half.  5/10

Ross Ford – Much better than last week. His lineout throwing was spot on, including a mammoth throw to a rear jumper inside the first 10 minutes. Going well until taken off injured after 20 minutes or so. 6/10

Moray Low – I got a bit of stick for giving Moray Low a bad score last week and this week he was definitely better (but still not amazing). He wasn’t as dominated physically against the Wallabies but again didn’t do anything remarkable. Apart from getting punched in the ear which got Scotland three points and a sin-binning. 6/10

Grant Gilchrist – Annoymous. In a game in which his fellow lock Richie Gray would have had the space to gallop around he failed to make an impact in attack. Good in the line-out throughout, especially when he fell over from a great height and getting winded but not exciting in any way otherwise. 5/10

Jim Hamilton – Spent his 50th cap constantly telling his teammates to hold their discipline whilst giving away daft penalties. ‘Discipline, discipline, discipline’ was his ironic mantra at every scrum to everyone who would listen. Despite this he managed to start his customary fight within the opening two minutes of the game, a new record for Big Jim. 6/10

Johnnie Beattie – Just doesn’t look right at six. Showed up well at the breakdown but didn’t get enough ball in hand for my liking. Gave any a few too many clumsy penalties too but did his combative best in tough circumstances. 5/10

David Denton – Better than his exercise in self-destruction last week against the Boks but still not convincing as a world-class eight. Needs to develop an offload game to truly be dangerous when Scotland are on the hoof otherwise he’s distinctly average. 6/10

Kelly Brown – Good antagonistic performance from the Captain. Marshalled his defence well, particularly around the rucks. Looked frustrated at times but generally made the right decisions at the right times. 7/10


Pat MacArthur – Came on in the first half and made a bit of a pig’s ear out of the line-outs. Otherwise okay but didn’t take his chance as well as he could have. 5/10

Alasdair Dickinson – Didn’t add a lot to either the set piece or the loose. 5/10

Euan Murray – Promised lots, delivered little in a poor scrimmaging display. 5/10

Jonny Gray – Again, did no wrong. One for the future 6/10

Kieran Low – Ran with the ball got boomed. Big time.  6/10

Chris Cusiter – Odd time to come on when Greig was running the show but did his best. 6/10

Ruaridh Jackson – Did he get on? I didn’t notice if he did…

Max Evans – Made little impact. 5/10

12 Responses

  1. Did you actually watch the same game as the rest of us? I know ratings are subjective but hells bells, these are even more generous with gifts than Santa Claus.

    Cant agree on most but certainly not that laidlaw was our best player, still too slow at getting the ball away from rucks.

    Worst individual on the pitch…..Jaco Peyper! Did he close his eyes on every wallaby scrum?

    We desperately need Rossco back at 7, Scott, Dunbar, Hogg and Swinson to shore up this team and give it some brains!

  2. Man alive Brodie, as Allan said, what game were you watching!?!

    My top 4 performers (admitedly from a south stand perspective rather than TV) seem to have been your bottom 4 – ah well, vive la difference!

  3. Have to agree with the others, Scotland did not threaten at all and were sent backwards on defence far, far too easily for these ratings to be deserved. Drop the backs down a couple of points each for singularly failing to make any breaks or look dangerous at all for the entire match.

  4. Totally agree with the others , Brodie must have been watching another game.
    Taylor and De luca , 2 games not 1 line break.
    Laidlaw , slow , passing not good enough.
    Hamilton made several breaks , good game.
    Gilchrist , solid game
    Beattie , best line break in the two “hard games” , ball always came back quickly when he took it into contact unlike Denton.

  5. I agree with the comments above. All the locks and back rows had reasonable games, with Hamilton having one of his best games for Scotland in my opinion. The main positives for me over the 3 games were Jonny Gray, Seymour, Lamont and Tim Swinson(although its a shame he couldn’t play again after Japan). I don’t think a lot else was learnt though; the same questions remain- front row(only 4 props were used and Cross didn’t even get a chance?), we all know a proper 7 should play (Fusaro wasn’t given a chance?) and we are still stuck at 9 and 10 (Laidlaw really frustrates me as he is a wise player, but is so slow at times!).

    Strongest 23?: Grant, MacArthur, Murray; Swinson, Hamilton; Brown, Rennie, Beattie; Laidlaw, Weir; Visser, Scott, Dunbar, Maitland, Hogg. Bench: Dickinson, Ford, Low; J Gray, Barclay; Cusiter, Heathecoate (what happened to him?), Lamont. It’s not much different to the team I would have picked 4 weeks ago and the question marks remain over the same people.

    1. Heathcote isn’t getting game time at Bath. Word is he was offered chance to come up to Edinburgh at the start of the season but turned it down to try and fight for his place down there. Suspect he’ll move in the summer though.

      Front row is a massive problem for Scotland and it would only take a couple of injuries to see us decimated. Need to look at other options and get some young ones coming through. Still don’t think Dickinson or Low are the answer. Decent stop gaps but neither is a long term solution.

    2. What is the story behind Tommy Allan and why he wasn’t given a go or wasn’t interested? Have seen obscure quotes from Johno and others and would like to know the facts

    3. Hi Allan,

      I haven’t got any inside information but followed the story pretty closely.

      It appears from statements made by his uncle that Tommy sought a pro-contract with the Scottish sides after the u-20 world cup. His uncle claimed that if he was given a pro-contract he would have remained committed to Scotland.

      However, the SRU didn’t offer him a contract as they already have Jackson, Weir, Wight, Russell at Glasgow and Francis, Leonard, Hunter at Edinburgh (who tried to sign Heathcote in the summer rather than Allan and who they are much more likely to get now that Heathcote has been left out in the cold by his boyhood club Bath).

      IMO it was a big mistake in not offering Allan a contract at Edinburgh as Francis is poor and non-Scots qualified, however they clearly thought Allan was not ready for pro-rugby yet and already had two young Scottish FHs on their books.

      They probably did not expect Allan to subsequently make himself available for Italy as he came through the Scottish ranks. Allan was eligible for South Africa, Scotland and Italy and seems to have gone where the opportunities have come most quickly. That might makes sense for a professional with split loyalties and whilst it is a loss for Scottish rugby we’ve got to recognise we have profited from other players making similar calculations.

    4. Thanks FF. I was wondering what the perception was was from that side. I spent a lot of time with his uncles in SA during the tour and neither ever mentioned Italy or SA as an option and I know John had meets with Scotland personnel (he handed out the jerseys before the Durban game) and I assumed Tommy was one of the things discussed as I know how proud he was of him for making the Scotland 20s side. Real shame especially after seeing his try v Aus

      To me it is insane that anyone playing Scotland 20s can’t get a pro contract in Scotland and isn’t prioritized over a non scots qualified player especially in a pos we are not settled in. However with only 2 pro teams it means an awful lot of players a lot of time and money money have been spent on will slip through the cracks each year. 7s contracts could b used as a pathway maybe?

  6. My biggest question from the game was why were backs receiving the kick off, and taking the ball into contact every time? The ball retention was awful from this strategy.

    1. Spot on mate, we had three, yes three, number eights on the pitch and we had Tommy Seymour taking a restart and getting turned over, bloody stupid. Too many players not taking responsibility.

  7. I agree with the above comments. For what it is worth, I think there is a huge problem with rugby in this country and the SRU are just not addressing these problems . It appears to me that Edinburgh Rugby is too close to the Scotland set up and the Borders teams and players have been dismissed. The Autumn tests are a perfect time to try uncapped players, but this only seems to happen occasionally. What is the harm ? We invariably get beaten by the Southern Hemisphere teams anyway !

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion