Scotland player ratings: Battered Finn Russell ineffective in Marseille loss

Dylan Coetzee
Scotland's Finn Russell after a Rugby World Cup game.

Scotland's Finn Russell after a Rugby World Cup game.

Following South Africa’s 18-3 win over Scotland in their Rugby World Cup Pool B clash, here are our player ratings for the losing side.


15 Blair Kinghorn: A difficult night for a talented player who spent his evening trying to deal with high balls and a good kick chase. Could not really make much of an impact with ball in hand. 4

14 Darcy Graham: Very very few chances to run the ball, which is where his true danger lies. When he did get a chance early on, he chose not to pass, which would have set up a clear try. Another player who was bombed by the high kicks. 4

13 Huw Jones: Spent the whole evening being battered by Springbok runners in the midfield, which he handled relatively well. However, apart from a couple of good hits, he could not influence the game much. 6

12 Sione Tuipulotu: Similar to his centre partner in that he spent his night defending and managed that fine, but outside of a couple of decent carries, did not impact the game much. 6

11 Duhan van der Merwe: Did not hear his name much as he was relatively uninvolved. It was the kind of game that was difficult to get into for a wing. Still, for a player of his quality, more would have been expected. 4

10 Finn Russell: Erratic at best. Scotland’s game driver did not drive anything in this one as he was clearly targetted. His first touch was a charge down, and it did not improve greatly from there. Seemed as though he was overplaying at times instead of building phases and territory. His first meaningful tactical kick came around the hour mark. Russell is a highly-rated star who did not arrive in Marseille. 4

9 Ben White: A challenging match for the scrum-half who kicked decently from the base when exiting. Tackled bravely as he hit double figures in that regard. Could not offer anything else. 6

Hard-working loose trio

8 Jack Dempsey: A shining light and one of the key hard workers during the first half where the Scotland pack was keeping up with the Boks. Made an equal game-high 11 tackles whilst making 10 carries with the ball in hand and claiming a turnover. 7

7 Rory Darge: Another hard worker who kept the defensive effort going with nine tackles to contribute. Outside of that, he did little with the ball in hand and conceded a penalty. 6

6 James Ritchie: Worked hard to make his nine tackles but gave away a silly penalty for playing the jumper in the air, which gave the Boks good field position. A real test of his leadership tonight, which showed some promise in the first 40. 6

5 Grant Gilchrist: Worrying signs at line-out time where the blame can be shared across all the jumpers. Worked desperately hard on defence and did his best to impose himself. 5

4 Richie Gray: Worked hard on defence but like his locking partner, must take responsibility for the line-out, which the Boks exploited through their pressure. 5

Power props

3 Zander Fagerson: The tighthead scrummed really well in the first period, giving Steven Kitshoff a real run for his money and claiming a penalty from him. His departure coincided with the Boks substitutes, but he is clearly a very key player in the set-piece for Scotland. 8

2 George Turner: A horror night in the line-out, which is uncharacteristic and inexcusable against a side that waits for mistakes in those areas. Greasy ball and high pressure were certainly factors, but Scotland needed him to fire. 4

1 Pierre Schoeman: Like Fagerson, the loosehead was outstanding in the scrum against a formidable opponent in Frans Malherbe, even pinching a couple of penalties off him. It was obvious before, but it’s blatantly clear now, he is absolutely crucial for his team. 8

Replacement: Some of the changes added some nice impetus when the game was already broken and gone. Cam Redpath was a stand-out name who offered something different for the Boks to deal with. 6

READ MORE: Springboks open Rugby World Cup title defence with bruising win over Scotland