15. Stuart Hogg: 7
Unfortunately he wasn’t able to showcase his counter-attacking ability despite the excellent conditions, but he did impress everyone with his monster of a boot. When he stepped in as the link man, he did well.
14. Tommy Seymour: 5
Offered little attacking threat. He needed to hit the ball at pace and at an angle as he was often caught drifting along the backline. Had a chance early on but the kick through was poor.
13. Alex Dunbar: 8
We finally got to see Dunbar in full flight. He once again impressed in defence – keeping Michele Campagnaro quiet – and his two tries were taken superbly.
12. Matt Scott: 7
Scott impressed a lot more this week compared to last. He often set up the attacking platform that Scotland needed, taking short crash balls and running over Gonzalo Garcia. Solid in defence.
11. Sean Lamont: 5.5
We didn’t see Lamont as much as we had hoped but he was still physical with ball in hand and in defence. Stats say that he made 14 runs but obviously none were very memorable.
10. Duncan Weir: 6
Often took the ball standing still and he was far far too deep in attack. His kicking out of hand was alright though and he nailed a superb drop goal to win the game.
9. Greig Laidlaw: 6
Looked indecisive at first but he got better when the ball available was quicker. Stupid decision to pass to Scott instead of taking the penalty but when Scotland were on the front foot, his game improved.
1. Ryan Grant: 7
Best game of the tournament so far for Grant. He didn’t give Martin Castrogiovanni an inch in the scrum and he carried well throughout.
2. Scott Lawson: 5.5
He played a lot better than Ford but then again, that’s not hard. Found his man in the lineout and offered himself as a ball-carrying option a number of times but unfortunately he just wasn’t strong enough in attack or defence.
3. Moray Low: 4
Replaced by Geoff Cross just before half time due to poor scrummaging. Got dominated early on by Alberto de Marchi and gave away three scum penalties in the first ten minutes.
4. Richie Gray: 7.5
Showed Scott Johnson exactly why he should have started the previous two games. He threw his long blonde locks into every tackle and he popped up in the back line to carry hard. The go-to man in the lineout.
5. Jim Hamilton: 6.5
He led the lineout well, provided a number of valuable steals and he didn’t give away a single penalty. Best game so far for Jim.
6. Ryan Wilson: 6
Another player who had his best game of the tournament. He tackled and carried well and earned his team a couple of turnovers. Kelly Brown should still be starting ahead of him though.
7. Chris Fusaro: 6.5
His tackle and turnover count were low but that didn’t mean Fusaro had a poor game. He slowed the Italian breakdown down and helped speed up the Scottish one. The latest in the line of impressive Scottish opensides.
8. Johnnie Beattie: 7
Industrious game from Beattie. He carried well and he was heavily involved in all aspects of the breakdown. His tackle count was in double figures and he is definitely Scotland’s best eight.
Scott Johnson finally got his substitutes, and the timings of them, right and he didn’t make substitutions for the sake of it. Geoff Cross steadied a sinking scrum ship at scrum time and Denton carried well against tired Italian legs. The introduction of Chris Cusiter proved to be the catalyst that Scotland needed. I’ve given a ‘10’ rating because Ross Ford didn’t get on.
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images