Scotland player ratings: There were ten changes to the starting side that faced Japan in Scotland’s final match of the Rugby World Cup, split evenly between the forwards and backs.
Captain Stuart Hogg and centre Sam Johnson are the only players retained in a back division that saw Glasgow scrum-half Ali Price and Saracens wing Sean Maitland start in place of recent international retirees Greig Laidlaw and Tommy Seymour.
Scotland will be kicking themselves, as a multitude of errors and turnovers conceded cost them dearly.
STUART HOGG CAPTAIN – 7.5
The new captain spoke before the game of believing his side could grab the win in Dublin and the fired up Exeter Chief did his best to drag his teammates with him. The fullback was the heart of a passionate if at times scattered performance, but looked bright in attack. He didn’t deserve the costly, cruel fumble over the line – although it was emblematic of a profligate Scottish performance.
Every Scotland fan right now… ?
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 1, 2020
SEAN MAITLAND – 5.5
Looked solid under the high ball early on, but didn’t see much of it thereafter. Outshone by Stockdale. Has a remarkable ability to phone in these neither really good nor really bad performances.
HUW JONES – 5
After missing the Rugby World Cup Jones is on a mission to reassert himself in the 13 shirt. Missed an early tackle attempt on the elusive Larmour and it wasn’t his only mediocre bit of defending. Well below what he’s capable of.
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SAM JOHNSON – 6.5
His try against England last year gave Scotland a 36-31 lead in that Calcutta Cup game, which ended 38-38 after England had led 31-0 up to 35 minutes into the match. Looked to continue that form and did so with some hard carrying in the opening moments . A timely intercept before half-time got Scotland out of jail, although it immediately proceeded a defensive lapse on his part. Maybe not the fastest 12 to ever play the game, but he’s game.
BLAIR KINGHORN – 5
ADAM HASTINGS – 7
A big day for Hasting following the background drama around Finn Russell, the heretofore first pick at 10. One of his touches was a beautiful ball out the back door and he kicked with devilish intent. A good game.
ALI PRICE – 6
Was sold on a wraparound move for Ireland’s first try. His box kicking seems a tad pointless at times, although he sniped well from the base. Got on the ball more in the second 40.
RORY SUTHERLAND – 8
Returning from injury, the loosehead played his part in disrupting Ireland’s scrum. A brutal carry on the Irish line saw David Kilcoyne removed from the action. It epitomised his performance.
FRASER BROWN – 6
Was turned over on the Irish line in the 24th minute, and was one of a number of Scottish forwards that needs to look at their ball security.
ZANDER FAGERSON – 8
Won a penalty off Cian Healy at the first scrum in the 14th minute, winning a penalty that Hastings duly slotted. A belligerent and wonderfully violent prop.
SCOTT CUMMINGS 6
Glasgow Warriors lock Scott Cummings earned the chance to make his championship debut alongside clubmate Gray. Didn’t seem to get much change from his frequent carries in the first half and was lucky to survive a Josh van der Flier rip in the 19th minute.
JONNY GRAY 6.5
Part of a pack that did a decent job of absorbing Ireland’s ‘one and done’ attacking strategy. Managed 18 tackles.
JAMIE RITCHIE – 6
Arguably Scotland’s form backrow made a nuisance of himself early doors and did make a metres with ball in hand. Scotland still lack a truly effective ball carrier with Bradbury injured.
HAMISH WATSON – 7.5
Won a key penalty in the 30th minute and was head-to-head with Josh van der Flier all door to be crowned the breakdown king.
NICK HAINING – 7
Debutant Haining anchored an all-Edinburgh back-row with fit-again openside Watson and the Ritchie. Looked sharp (and bloodied) right out the gate and in the thick of it throughout.
STUART MCINALLY – 6.5
His stock has admittedly fallen coming into the competition after a difficult Rugby World Cup. A solid outing off the bench and a well-timed pass set up Watson for an eye-catching late run.
ALLAN DELL – 6
Did well in the loose in a relatively short cameo. Another Scottish victim of an Irish turnover.
WP Nell – 6
The big man threatened with ball in hand when he came on.
BEN TOOLIS – 6
The game had tightened up by the time he came on.
CORNELL DU PREEZ – NA
Not on long enough to rate.
Not on long enough to rate.
CHRIS HARRIES – 6
Looked industrious on entry to the fray and was an improvement on Jones.
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