Scotland player ratings: Scotland responded from back-to-back defeats with a comfortable bonus point win over Italy, condemning the visitors to a 32nd consecutive Six Nations defeat in the process.
There were eight tries from Gregor Townsend’s side – two each for hooker Dave Cherry and his Edinburgh team-mate Duhan van der Merwe – as they recorded a record win over an Italian side who looked out of their depth at times.
Here’s how the Scotland players performed as they recorded their second win of the campaign.
SCOTLAND PLAYER RATINGS:
15. SEAN MAITLAND – 7
Some lovely touches in attack and not tested defensively before he headed off. A rare outing at fullback but one he can be pleased with.
14. DARCY GRAHAM – 8
A constant threat with ball in hand and always looking for work. Hammered by Monty Ioane in the first half but recovered well and offers himself close to the ruck.
13. HUW JONES – 9
Against a very limited Italian defence, a constant threat. More than 150m made with ball in hand shows just how dangerous he can be when he’s at his best, and a second try in as many weeks to go alongside.
12. SAM JOHNSON – 8
Provided valuable go-forward and provides a sharp link between the half-backs and Scotland’s danger men. Showed excellent power to shrug off Bigi and score his fourth international try.
11. DUHAN VAN DER MERWE – 9
A couple of tries, including excellent support of Price’s 60m break to score late on and take Scotland to a half century. Twelve defenders beaten – some of them with ease – and more than 200m made show how dangerous the Worcester-bound wing is.
10. STUART HOGG – 8
Drove Scotland’s attack on his first international start at stand-off. Goalkicking the only slight issue and will have been disappointed not to get a try of his own.
9. SCOTT STEELE – 8
Brought his club form to the international arena on his first Scotland start. Brought speed of service that allowed Scotland to attack seemingly at will, and took his try well.
1. RORY SUTHERLAND – 7
Has cemented himself as Scotland’s first choice on the loosehead and helped to get Scotland on the front foot in the first half.
2. DAVID CHERRY – 8
The Edinburgh hooker couldn’t have dreamed of a better first Test start. Two tries and a hugely improved lineout, plus six carries. Should be the starter next Friday in Paris on the evidence of this performance.
3. ZANDER FAGERSON – 7
Back from suspension and a good 50 minutes before he was removed. Undoubtedly Scotland’s first choice tightead and a powerful scrum performance.
4. SAM SKINNER – 8
Led the defensive effort well with eight tackles made on his first start since August 2019. Has been in good club form and showed Gregor Townsend what he can do on the international stage.
5. GRANT GILCHRIST – 7
A big improvement in the lineout and the former captain was at the forefront of that. Also offers himself as a link between forwards and backs regularly, while chipped in with six tackles and eight carries.
6. JAMIE RITCHIE – 8
A couple of silly penalties blotted his copybook but Ritchie lives on the edge at the breakdown, while he does a lot of Scotland’s dirty work.
7. HAMISH WATSON – 9
Another huge shift from the all-action back-row in a Man of the Match display. In his 65 minutes, the Edinburgh man made 21 carries for more than 100 metres.
8. MATT FAGERSON – 8
The campaign started with doubts over whether he was the answer for Scotland at number eight and he’s answered them throughout. Fourteen carries, largely in heavy traffic, for the workhorse Glasgow number eight.
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