That was quite a hard result to take.
Another bounce of the ball and the result could have been very different, so how then do we rate the players in a game where Scotland dominated in almost every way according to every measurable statistic – other than the scoreboard?
The final score is always going to affect how we reflect on a match but in doing the player ratings we’ve based it on measurable performance. When Scotland win we start by giving everyone 6/10 and work from there. When Scotland lose we start at a baseline of 5/10.
Rated on Attack, Defence, Breakdown and Set Piece
1. Rory Sutherland: Another strong showing in the scrum and was clearly given the task of securing ball at ruck time and causing Wales problems on their own ruck. Was largely successful and carried well with ball in hand. - (A7/D7/B7/S7) Overall: 7/10
2. George Turner: Made third most tackles of any Scotland player and broke the gain line on 71% of his carries. The lineout didn't function at 100% as with last week but scrum looked solid. Continues to chip away at the Brown/McInally axis. - (A7/D7/B7/S6) Overall: 7/10
3. Zander Fagerson: On another day the clearout goes unnoticed, and there are probably a dozen every match that don't get picked up. We're dealing with fine margins and replays showed contact with the head. Any contact with the head is a card territory and with Zander arriving from a distance and at speed that was always going to be a risk. Did he need to compete? Hogg was the only Scotland player competing at the ruck and Fagerson was the closest forward so yes but perhaps he, or someone else from the pack should have been closer in the first place. Aside from the card it was another solid performance in the loose and at the scrum, but needs to tighten up on discipline overall after shipping three previous penalties. - (A7/D4/B5/S6) Overall: 5.5/10
4. Scott Cummings: Second highest number of tackles of any Scotland player and offered himself as ball carrier more. Hit a massive 32 attacking rucks which is highest number of any player on the park. Unbelievable work rate. Part of a line out put under pressure by Wales. Was tackled into the front of Gary Graham to deny a vital try but perhaps was intended to catch the pass in the first place? - (A7/D7/B7/S6) Overall: 7/10
5. Jonny Gray: Unusual not to see him top the tackle charts but he has clearly been asked to play a different role and leave the tackling and rucks to his junior partner. Reborn as a ball carrying lock since his move to Exeter, and broke the gain line on 70% of his carries. Lineout was well-read by Wales which needs to be addressed before France. - (A7/D7/B7/S6) Overall: 7/10
6. Blade Thomson: Bright start cut short as a result of a head injury. Reappeared on the sidelines so hopefully will play some part in the tournament. Touted as a line out option to cause Wales problems which may explain why Scotland struggled to adapt when he went off. - (A6/D6/B6/S6) Overall: 6/10
7. Hamish Watson: A constant menace at the breakdown, picking his moments like a snake watching it's prey from the long grass. Seemed to be at the forefront of the charge to keep Scotland in the fight until the last minute and won a key last minute turnover to keep momentum going. - (A7/D7/B7/S7) Overall: 7/10
8. Matt Fagerson: It's hard to know what he has to do to convince his doubters that he is the real deal at Number 8. Carries exceptionally well and tackles hard. He's not Bill Mata - but then Bill Mata isn't Scottish. - (A7/D7/B7/S7) Overall: 7/10
Rated on Attack, Defence, Breakdown and Influence
9. Ali Price: Another strong performance by Price who made several incisive attacking kicks from hand, proving that Hogg and Russell are not the only threats with the boot. May need to take some blame for not giving the backs a crack when repeatedly battering the opposition line: are you telling us anyone is stopping Duhan at that range? - (A7/D7/B7/I7) Overall: 7/10
10. Finn Russell: Once again managed to rein in the "maverick" moments except on advantage, at least until chasing the game in the dying moments - and even that almost came off. Was also 100% from the tee. Should he have had more chances to grow a lead? - (A8/D7/B5/I6) Overall: 6.5/10
11. Duhan van der Merwe: Again missed out on a Finn Russell cross-kick by his fingertips and would have probably have won the game with a try were it not for Owen Watkins fingertips! Should be used more closer to the line where his power makes him hard to stop out wide. - (A8/D6/B6/I7) Overall: 7/10
12. James Lang: Less noticeable than Redpath was last week. Put in some good, visible defence early on but little to do with ball in hand and faded into obscurity after that even if he did make more tackles than Harris. Hard to argue with sticking either of Sam Johnson or Duncan Taylor in for a shot if Redpath isn't fit in two weeks time. - (A5/D7/B7/I5) Overall: 6/10
13. Chris Harris: One of his best games in a Scotland shirt in terms of attacking play and held the defensive line together in the middle of the park. Made good breaks, tackled hard and ran good supporting lines. Was visibly knackered by the end. - (A8/D8/B7/I7) Overall: 7.5/10
14. Darcy Graham: A crying shame that the diminutive winger being talked about after this game was Louis Rees-Zammit and not our own Darcy who was having a flyer before the need to provision the scrum saw him replaced by WP Nel with 25mins to go. For a wee guy he's hard as nails and throws himself into the thick of things; huge workrate. Like LRZ, defensive positioning needs work. - (A8/D6/B8/I8) Overall: 7.5/10
15. Stuart Hogg: Another good captain's performance in most areas - questions may be asked about the choices not to kick points but in most of them, Scotland came away with points. He won't have liked being skinned by Rees-Zammit for the match-winning try though. Ultimately the inability to close out a 17-3 lead does need to lie with the captain. - (A8/D7/B6/I7) Overall: 7/10
Rated on Attack, Defence, Breakdown and Impact
16. Dave Cherry: Came on with 12 minutes to go and played his part in keeping Scotland in the game until the dying minutes. - (A6/D6/B6/I6) Overall: 6/10
17. Oli Kebble: Perhaps with Scotland a man down he could have come on sooner to compensate with some fresh legs. Did well at the scrum and made some decent carries to keep Scotland in the game. - (A6/D6/B6/I6) Overall: 6/10
18. Willem Nel: Dominant in the scrum but he's not a 60 or 80 minute player. Likely to keep his spot on the bench but unlikely to start against France. - (A6/D6/B6/I6) Overall: 6/10
19. Richie Gray: Contributed in defence and attack to keep Scotland in the fight. Great option from the bench especially in the lineout. - (A6/D6/B6/I6) Overall: 6/10
20. Gary Graham: An opportunity to reproduce his form with Newcastle Falcons after a solid performance from the bench last week. However a lack of discipline ultimately contributed to Scotland finding themselves on the back foot without necessarily being under pressure from Wales. Still has more to offer but needs to tighten up on the infringements. - (A5/D5/B5/I5) Overall: 5/10
21. Scott Steele: Not used - (A5/D5/B5/I5) Overall: 5/10
22. Jaco van der Walt: Not used - (A5/D5/B5/I5) Overall: 5/10
23. Huw Jones: Once again restricted to a sub ten-minute cameo, but got the ball this time at least. Would perhaps have been used more in a 15 v 15 game. - (A7/D5/B5/I6) Overall: 6/10
Ratings by Cammy Black and Rory Baldwin. Stats used via ESPN.