Sunday 23 April 2017

Here is how England and Scotland rated in today's Six Nations clash

England's Ben Youngs chased by Scotland's John Hardie
England's Ben Youngs chased by Scotland's John Hardie

Andy Newport and Duncan Bech

England did just enough to give Eddie Jones a winning start to his England managerial career as his side secured a six-point win over Scotland today. Here is how the players rated.


STUART HOGG: Always looked a menace with his speed and change of direction whilst running at England. 7/10

SEAN MAITLAND: Solid in defence but given no scope to get at the England back line. 6

MARK BENNETT: The Glasgow centre shook off a shoulder injury to start but was closed down smartly by the English who were well aware of his qualities. 7

MATT SCOTT: Made inroads every time he got the chance to run but lacked the necessary cutting edge to open the visitors up. 7

TOMMY SEYMOUR: Looked dangerous when up at full speed but let himself down with a couple of dropped passes. Not at his ruthless best. 6

FINN RUSSELL: Looked back to his best after a disappointing spell with Glasgow. Dictated play with some precise kicking. Will regret missing his drop-goal attempt before the break. 7

GREIG LAIDLAW: His tactical discipline was at its usual high standard but he could not find the extra gear Scotland badly needed. 7

AL DICKINSON: Solid display at the scrum as the Dark Blues stood up to the English pack at the scrum. 7

ROSS FORD: Squint line-out throw put team under pressure early on while he failed to put himself about enough in the loose. 6

WP NEL: The nationalised Springbok showed again why he is so vital to Scotland's front-row with another barnstorming display. 7

JONNY GRAY: Did not perform as well as he would have liked but did not let his side down on the tackling front as he made the hard yards into contact. 7

RITCHIE GRAY: Outperformed at the line-out and was at fault for England's first try. Needs to be more noticeable if Scotland are to succeed this year. 6

JOHN BARCLAY: Back in Dark Blue after being left out of the World Cup and showed some terrific breakdown work. 7

JOHN HARDIE: Another non-stop display from the Kilted Kiwi with his energetic foraging and fierce tackling. 8

DAVID DENTON: Outperformed by Billy Vunipola as he struggled to contain the bulldozer-like Saracens number eight. 6


GORDON REID (for DICKINSON, 58): Energised the front row. 6

BLAIR COWAN (for BARCLAY, 59): Threw himself about in the loose. 6

STUART McINALLY (for FORD, 65): Hit his jumper at the line-out. 6

DUNCAN TAYLOR (for SEYMOUR, 66): Added power to the back line. 5

ZANDER FAGERSON (for NEL, 69): On late for his first cap. 5

TIM SWINSON (for J GRAY, 70): Not enough time to make an impact: 5



MIKE BROWN: Ran hard and straight, but maybe England also need guile from their full-back. 6

ANTHONY WATSON: The Bath wing's speed and athleticism served England well. 7

JONATHAN JOSEPH: Would have liked more ball and was unable to play to his strengths. 6

OWEN FARRELL: Neat pass sent Jack Nowell over and could prove to be a long-term option at 12. 7

JACK NOWELL: Showed his gas to run in England's second try, the headline act of a strong match. 7

GEORGE FORD: Mixed afternoon, but it was his clever kick downfield that put England on the path to success. 6

DANNY CARE: Not given the space he would have liked, but was sharp enough. 6

JOE MARLER: England's scrum was an improvement on the World Cup. 6

DYLAN HARTLEY: A solid and tidy game - exactly what England's captain needed. 6

DAN COLE: The chief contributor to the scrum effort, but his discipline was wanting at times. 7

JOE LAUNCHBURY: Unable to translate his recent club form into the Calcutta Cup match. 6

GEORGE KRUIS: Scored the opening try with an outstretched hand and was the star lock at Murrayfield. 7

CHRIS ROBSHAW: Heavily involved at close quarters where he was effective but unspectacular. 6

JAMES HASKELL: Tackled hard and carried hard. A muscular presence, but not a natural seven. 7

BILLY VUNIPOLA: Clearly going to be a key figure under Eddie Jones, used repeatedly to great effect. 8


JAMIE GEORGE: Late arrival. 5

MAKO VUNIPOLA: Great offload for Nowell's try. 7

COURTNEY LAWES: Heavily involved. 6

JACK CLIFFORD: Little chance to shine. 6

BEN YOUNGS: Almost gave away an intercept try. 5

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