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2024 Womens Six Nations: Scotland 5-15 France – Player Ratings

Lisa Thomson - pic © Peter Watt/N50 Images
Lisa Thomson - pic © Peter Watt/N50 Sports

Scotland

2024 Guinness Women's Six NationsSat 30th Mar 2024Hive Stadium, EdinburghKick-off: 2:15 pm (UK)5-15

France

Referee: Sara Cox (RFU)| TV: BBC

France were heavy favourites to end Scotland’s unbeaten streak, having demolished them 55-0 last
year, but the Scots’ newfound confidence along with their defensive excellence made the job much
tougher this year.

Scotland’s only try came from Elis Martin who was excellent on her first international start. Apart
from this, Scotland didn’t really look like scoring, and didn’t often threaten to break through
France’s defensive line. France threw offloads left right and centre and crossed the game line with
most of their carries, but their slew of handling errors allowed the Scottish defence to keep the
game on a knife edge.

Evie Gallagher and Elis Martin line up in defence

Forwards

Rated on Attack, Defence, Breakdown and Set Piece

1. Leah Bartlett: Carried well throughout and showed off her soft hands. Penalised once for holding on. Scrummaged well and looked good in mauls. Replaced 66th minute. - (A7/D7/B7/S8) Overall: 7.5/10

2. Elis Martin: Did well to recover from the first two dodgy lineout throws to get the lineout functioning well for her own try. Wouldn’t have been expecting to play 79.5 minutes but had a fantastic workrate throughout. Gave away a penalty near the end with an exhausted looking ruck attempt. - (A8/D8/B6/S7) Overall: 7.5/10

3. Christine Belisle: Made a difference in the maul. Fantastic steal when France threatened to score 9 minutes in. Carried well and unlucky to be penalised for holding on after a lineout gone awry. - (A8/D7/B8/S7) Overall: 7.5/10

4. Emma Wassell: Defended well as always, and counter-rucked effectively. Helped Scotland survive a French onslaught in the 20th minute. Timing was off in the lineout. - (A7/D8/B8/S6) Overall: 7.5/10

5. Louise McMillan: Noticeably crossed the gainline in attack on her 50th cap, something Scotland struggled with overall. She won one of France’s lineouts, but missed a tackle that almost resulted in a French try. - (A7/D6/B7/S8) Overall: 7/10

6. Rachel Malcolm (capt): Could not stop tackling; she was absolutely everywhere. Gorgeous in the breakdown. Stunning in the maul. Some nice steps in attack. - (A7/D9/B8/S7) Overall: 8/10

7. Alex Stewart: Looked comfortable at this level in her second cap. Decent carries and good passing. Great in defence and helped hold up a French try. - (A7/D8/B8/S6) Overall: 7.5/10

8. Evie Gallagher: Unreal in the breakdown. Evie G loves a jackal and she does them so well. Maul defence excellent. She mopped up a couple of unclean lineouts to ensure Scotland kept the ball. - (A7/D9/B9/S8) Overall: 8.5/10

Backs

Rated on Attack, Defence, Breakdown and Influence

9. Caity Mattinson: A mixed bag. Her box kicking was generally good, but one went out on the full. Ball speed from rucks wasn’t quick enough and she passed a ball into touch. Otherwise passed well, tackled strongly and helped hold up a French try. - (A7/D8/B6/I7) Overall: 7/10

10. Helen Nelson: After her professional kicking performance last week, she’ll be gutted with her performance off the tee against France. Her game management continues to grow but she had a couple of errors across the game that may haunt her. Reacted quickly to save the day when Smith’s kick got charged down on their own line. - (A6/D7/B7/I6) Overall: 6.5/10

11. Coreen Grant: A much quieter game than her player of the match performance last week but didn’t do much wrong. Quick thinking when the ball hit the posts but so few opportunities with the ball. - (A6/D7/B6/I6) Overall: 6.5/10

12. Lisa Thomson: A rollercoaster of a showing means she’s ended up with fairly average scores despite moments of brilliance. She kept getting absolutely smashed as the game progressed after looking exciting ball-in-hand early on. Distributed well and had one lovely intercept. Would I rather she was an okay kicker than having absolute worldies followed by kicks that made me hide behind my sofa? I’m not sure. A single minute where she missed touch for a penalty, knocked the ball on, then gave away a penalty will make for tough viewing for her and casts a shadow over a performance that was excellent elsewhere. - (A6/D6/B6/I7) Overall: 6.5/10

13. Emma Orr: One of the few players who looked like she might break through the French defence. Fantastic hands (bar one forward pass) and good vision. Tackled well. - (A7/D8/B7/I8) Overall: 7.5/10

14. Rhona Lloyd: Defended out of her skin. A try-saving tackle, a turnover, a charge down… Carried well but didn’t get to show off her pace and power. Was the victim of a French 2-on-1 for their first try and couldn’t have done more. - (A7/D9/B8/I8) Overall: 8/10

15. Meryl Smith: Not this exciting young talent’s best game in a Scotland shirt. Some good tackles and carries, but had a kick charged down, fumbled a high ball into touch and gave a pass that made Emma Orr double over to catch it. Replaced in the 52nd minute by Chloe Rollie. - (A6/D7/B7/I6) Overall: 6.5/10

Replacements

Rated on Attack, Defence, Breakdown and Impact

16. Molly Wright: I’m so glad she looked brighter from the bench after a nasty-looking knock after less than a minute on the pitch. N/A - (A5/D5/B5/I5) Overall: 5/10

17. Lisa Cockburn: Went well in the loose but the scrum was struggling after the replacement props came on. - (A6/D7/B5/I6) Overall: 6/10

18. Elliann Clarke: Carried very well in her 18 minutes. The French replacement front rows overpowered Scotland’s. - (A7/D7/B6/I6) Overall: 6.5/10

19. Fiona McIntosh: Remains uncapped N/A - (A5/D5/B5/I5) Overall: 5/10

20. Eva Donaldson: N/A - (A5/D5/B5/I5) Overall: 5/10

21. Mairi McDonald: Sped up ball from the rucks when she came on and didn’t do much wrong. - (A6/D6/B8/I7) Overall: 7/10

22. Nicole Flynn: Remains uncapped N/A - (A5/D5/B5/I5) Overall: 5/10

23. Chloe Rollie: The French did not seem to like her and she was hit with some brutal tackles, stunting her exciting attack. - (A7/D7/B6/I6) Overall: 6.5/10

Ratings by Skye Wilson. Skye is a Scottish writer and rugby fan based in Newcastle. You can read more of Skye’s work on her website at skye-wilson.com or via @skyegwilson on X.

Emma Orr finds a gap - pic © Peter Watt
Emma Orr finds a gap – pic © Peter Watt/N50 Sports

3 Responses

  1. It does interest me. Haven’t checked any stats but it seems to me that the lassies know the laws better than the blokes.

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