Scotland player ratings: Rory Darge and Ben White shine in contentious loss to France

David Skippers
Rory Darge Scotland v France SN 2024 - Alamy.jpg

Scotland co-captain Rory Darge on the attack against France at Murrayfield.

After their 20-16 Six Nations defeat against France at Murrayfield on Saturday, here’s how the Scotland team performed on Saturday.

Scotland player ratings

15 Harry Paterson: He was a late addition to the starting line-up when Kyle Steyn withdrew earlier in the day but the Test debutant was in the thick of the action from the outset and made a telling contribution in the build-up to Ben White’s try with a fine run. Also solid under the high ball but skinned by Louis Bielle-Biarrey in the build-up to the Frenchman’s decisive try. 7/10

14 Kyle Rowe: Not a game he will remember fondly as he had few opportunities on attack although he made a superb break in the game’s closing stages before being hauled in by the cover defence and subsequently knocked the ball on. Was quiet on defence and caught out of position for Bielle-Biarrey’s try. 4

13 Huw Jones: Combined brilliantly with Paterson before delivering a superb offload to White, who crossed for the opening try. The Glasgow Warrior continued to look dangerous on attack as the match progressed and finished with 28 metres gained although he wasn’t as prominent on defence. 6

12 Sione Tuipulotu: Kept Les Bleus’ defence busy with some strong runs and gained good momentum during the early stages of the game but was less influential later on and eventually gained 28 metres. Like his midfield partner Jones, Tuipulotu was quiet on defence. 6

11 Duhan van der Merwe: Like Rowe. the behemoth flyer did not see much of the ball but when he did, he kept France‘s defence busy. He eventually gained 18 attacking metres from five runs and was pretty anonymous on defence as he only made three tackles but missed two of those. 5

10 Finn Russell: Had some good attacking moments and kept France’s defence guessing throughout. Also caught the eye with some fine aerial takes despite great pressure from the opposition. However, questions will be asked of his decision making as co-captain when Scotland opted to kick for touch and take a tap penalty when easy three-pointers were on offer and there was no reward for his team on each occasion. That proved costly in the bigger scheme of things. 6

9 Ben White: A fine performance from the Toulon man as he delivered a slick service to his outside backs while also bringing his forwards into play with deft offloads around the fringes of the rucks and mauls. White also had some good moments on attack as he finished with 20 metres gained from five runs and good support play from him was rewarded with the game’s opening try. 8

Planet Rugby player ratings key

Planet Rugby player ratings key 10 - Career defining performance 9 - Outright blockbuster effort 8 - Significantly influenced the result of the game 7 - Committed and effective outing 6 - Flashes of brilliance outside of executing fundamentals 5 - Fulfilling the role required by position (base level) 4 - Poor execution of fundamentals 3 - Costly errors and/or discipline in the game 2 - Poor performance that directly impacted the result 1 - Grossly ineffective throughout 0 - Should have carried water instead

8 Jack Dempsey: The hard running number eight came into the run-on side to do a specific job and he did just that as he took the fight to the opposition with some solid carries. He eventually gained 39 attacking metres from 11 carries but also did his bit on defence as he finished with 12 tackle completions. 7

Memorable return

7 Rory Darge: The Scotland co-captain hasn’t played since sustaining an injury at the end of December but showed why he is so highly rated as he delivered a brilliant all-round performance in his first match back. Darge was a menace at the breakdowns, carried with great intent – gaining 32 metres from 15 carries – and finished with a team high 13 hits on defence. Like Russell, his decision making will also be questioned as co-captain after they failed to take shots at goal in the opening half. 8

6 Matt Fagerson: Not much to report here as he was only on the field for 40 minutes before being replaced by Andy Christie due to an arm injury. During his time on the field, Fagerson made little impact as he was kept in check by the French defence and only made three tackles. 4

5 Scott Cummings: Did what was expected of him in the execution of his core duties as he was a valuable source of lineout possession and also did well to compete on France’s throw-ins at the set-piece where Scotland won several balls. Cummings made an impact on defence as he finished with seven tackle completions. 6

4 Grant Gilchrist: Came into the run-on side for injured veteran Richie Gray and will be happy with his overall effort. Combined well with Cummings in putting pressure on the French lineout and made seven hits but had little impact in other areas and eventually replaced by Sam Skinner in the game’s dying moments. 6

3 Zander Fagerson: Although his scrummaging was solid for the most part, he was penalised at the set-piece at a crucial stage shortly before half-time when Scotland had France under pressure close to their try-line. Apart from that, he put his body on the line in the execution of his defensive duties and completed 10 hits. 6

2 George Turner: Despite leaving the field early in the opening half due to injury, the 31-year-old returned 10 minutes later and was at the forefront of the Scots’ forward effort. He did well as a ball carrier, gaining 23 metres from five runs, while also doing well on defence with seven tackles made. 6

1 Pierre Schoeman: Another strong display from the South African-born front-row as he stood up well in the scrums and did his bit around the park with some solid carries. Was also excellent on defence as he completed 10 tackles without missing any. 6

Replacements: Scotland’s bench did not have the desired effect and although they tried manfully, they could not maintain the intensity set by the starting line-up. 5

READ MORE: France player ratings: Gael Fickou and Francois Cros steer dull Les Bleus to victory over Scotland