Scotland v England player ratings: Duhan van der Merwe stars as Ollie Lawrence struggles

Scotland vs England player ratings
Duhan van der Merwe scored a stunning hat-trick for Scotland - Getty Images /Stu Forster

Duhan van der Merwe scored a superb hat-trick as Scotland beat England 30-21 at Murrayfield on Saturday to claim a fourth successive championship win in the fixture for the first time since 1896.

This is how Telegraph Sport rated the two sides.


15. Blair Kinghorn

Gathered first kick-off brilliantly. Not always totally convincing in the aerial contests but adds plenty as an athletic playmaker. 7/10

14. Kyle Steyn

Fumbled an early pick-and-go, yet remains a resourceful member of this backline who does an awful lot of unselfish, essential graft. 7/10

13. Huw Jones

Isolated for England’s first try through little fault of his own before setting up two scores superbly. Strong in defence, too. 8/10

Scotland v England player ratings: Duhan van der Merwe stars as Ollie Lawrence struggles
Huw Jones was a constant threat for Scotland - Getty Images /Stu Forster

12. Sione Tuipulotu

Would have been annoyed with England’s first try but responded with a deft, flat pass to Jones that produced a break. Off just after half-time. 6/10

11. Duhan van der Merwe

Inauspicious first touch was forgotten with two tries that showcased his speed. His third was a walk-in. Late yellow card for tipping Freeman 9/10

10. Finn Russell

Understated but still excellent. Three conversions from out wide, a beautiful kick-pass to Van der Merwe and a quick restart that caught England napping. 8/10

9. Ben White

After an unusually loose pass from the base of a ruck during a frantic opening, the length of his clearance kicks settled Scotland. 7/10

1. Pierre Schoeman

Rag-dolled Ford to lift Murrayfield at an important juncture in the first half. Lasted until the beginning of the final quarter again 8/10

2. George Turner

A couple of line-out wobbles and were offset by spearing carries and characteristic tenacity. Such a tough competitor. 7/10

3. Zander Fagerson

Scotland missed him during his head injury assessment, which reinforces his value. Collared for a scrum penalty but immensely durable and dependable 7/10

4. Grant Gilchrist

Conspicuous thanks to his red scrum cap and a reassuringly hefty presence. Pressurised Care’s kicking and was tidy at restarts. 7/10

Scotland v England player ratings: Duhan van der Merwe stars as Ollie Lawrence struggles
Grant Gilchrist dominated in the line out - Reuters/Russell Cheyne

5. Scott Cummings

His team’s chief line-out target, who stole back one misplaced throw, was also disruptive and tireless in defence. 8/10

6. Jamie Ritchie

Returned to the starting line-up and was typically crafty around the breakdown, although was penalised once. 7/10

7. Rory Darge

The young co-captain punches way above his weight in the tackle and was a nuisance around the ruck, often spoiling England’s fluency. 9/10

8. Jack Dempsey

The third of Scotland’s busy, battling back-row starters carried with verve and was always alert. Late choke tackle on Itoje was impressive. 8/10


16. Ewan Ashman (on for Turner, 53), 17. Alec Hepburn (on for Schoeman, 61), 18. Elliot Millar-Mills (on for Fagerson, 7-18 and 62), 19. Sam Skinner (on for Gilchrist, 68) 20. Andy Christie (on for Ritchie, 53), 21. Geoge Horne (on for White, 63), 22. Ben Healy (on for Redpath, 73-76) 23. Cameron Redpath (on for Tuipulotu, 41)

Millar-Mills struggled during a first-half cameo, conceding two penalties, but returned to win one back. Redpath’s break inspired try number three before Christie and Ashman forced turnovers.


15. George Furbank

The try appeared to provide instant vindication for Borthwick’s bold selection, however his spill resulted in Van der Merwe’s second try. Some promising glimpses and some ghastly errors. 5/10

14. Tommy Freeman

Good things happen when he gets the ball. The problem is that he does not get the ball often enough. Needs to hunt for work like he does for Northampton. 6/10

13. Henry Slade

For such an aesthetically pleasing player, this was an ugly performance. Committed a couple of turnovers and got smoked for Van der Merwe’s second try. 4/10

12. Ollie Lawrence

Perhaps unsurprisingly was not on the same page as Ford and Slade in both attack and defence in their first game together. Badly fell off a tackle on Redpath that led to Scotland’s third try. 4/10

Scotland v England player ratings: Duhan van der Merwe stars as Ollie Lawrence struggles
England's centre Ollie Lawrence (L) is tackled by Scotland's Andy Christie (C) - Getty Images/Andy Buchanan

11. Elliot Daly

Lovely hands for Furbank’s try and maybe less error prone than the rest of the backline. Still feels like he chooses the wrong option in attack. 6/10

10. George Ford

For better and for worse was the game’s most influential player. Did not appear on the same wavelength as his outside backs and seemed symbolic that he was hooked for Smith. 4/10

9. Danny Care

Sharp service for the most part, but was unable to control the game with the boot, kicking out on the full and was continually harassed with his box kicking. 4/10

1. Ellis Genge

Seemed over-eager to assert his scrum dominance, particularly when Millar Mills came on, conceding a couple of free kicks. A couple of thunderous carries. 6/10

2. Jamie George

Clearly an emotional occasion following the death of his mother. On point with his lineout throwing until the steal led to Van der Merwe’s hat-trick score. 6/10

3. Dan Cole

A collector’s item, he broke the gainline with a carry, which is not part of his job description. Provided a solid base at the scrum for England to work off. 6/10

4. Maro Itoje

You could see how pumped up he was during the anthems and was prominent both as a ball-carrier and defender, but lacked an X-factor moment. 6/10

5. Ollie Chessum

Symbolic of the team’s performance that he came up with a lineout steal only to instantly give the ball away. Got through a mountain of work. 6/10

6. Ethan Roots

Aside from one big hand-off was fairly quiet and missed a few tackles. Expect George Martin to come into the equation for the Ireland game. 5/10

Scotland v England player ratings: Duhan van der Merwe stars as Ollie Lawrence struggles
Ethan Roots runs with the ball whilst under pressure from Scott Cummings and Elliot Millar-Mills of Scotland - Getty Images/David Rogers

7. Sam Underhill

After years of being beasted in this fixture at the breakdown, Underhill won the battle of the jackallers. Still feels that the back row needs a touch more dynamism. 7/10

8. Ben Earl

No doubt that he is now England’s main man. Finished as the game’s top tackler and ball carrier, and even popped up in the centres. 8/10


Theo Dan (for George, 68) 6, Joe Marler (for Genge, 61) 6 Will Stuart (for Cole, 55) 5, George Martin (for Roots, 46) 6, Chandler Cunningham-South (for Underhill 55) 6, Ben Spencer (for Care, 46) 6, Fin Smith (for Ford, 62) 6, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (for Slade, 62) 7