RBS 6 Nations 2011: Scotland Player Ratings versus Ireland

15 – Chris Paterson: 6/10
Successfully kicked 4 from 4. Was solid at the back, however lacked the speed to be of any real threat to the Irish defence.

14 – Nikki Walker: 5/10
A fairly quiet game for Walker, made a good tackle on Reddan in the passages of play before Ireland’s second try. Replaced by Simon Danielli 5 minutes from time.

13 – Nick De Luca: 4/10
Caught out, along with Lamont, after the line out leading to Ireland’s first try, allowing Heaslip to come through the gap and score.

12 – Sean Lamont: 6/10
Better against Wales at the full back position. Did not have the opportunity to break and run. Made a crucial tackle on Earls at the stroke of half time, that definitely prevented an Irish try.

11 – Max Evans: 7/10
A consistent performance again from Evans; he went searching for the ball, and got in some big hits against the Irish. Has an expansive and speedy style that is still not being utilised to full effect. Made a try saving tackle on Sean O’Brien around the 49-minute mark.

10 – Ruaridh Jackson: 4/10
Failed to live up to expectation and hype surrounding him pre game. Missed the first penalty and did not make much impact on the game. Replaced by Dan Parks after 54 minutes.

09 – Mike Blair: 6/10
Made a brilliant tackle on Luke Fitzgerald as he darted through yet another gap in the Scottish line. A swift performance, but there were several times where Blair did not have the numbers in support and he was isolated. Replaced by Rory Lawson on the hour.

01 – Alan Jacobsen: 4/10
Sin binned 44 minutes into the game for an infringement in the scrum. Scotland struggled again in the scrum with the problems appearing to come on the loosehead side this time.

02 – Ross Ford: 4/10
Poor in the scrum, and then made several handling errors, including one that led to Reddan’s try. Taken off and replaced by Scott Lawson after 54 minutes.

03 – Moray Low: 6/10
First half scrums saw him competing with his counterpart, Cian Healy, for dominance. There was more solidity in this side of the scrum in this game, but it still not strong enough. Replaced by Cross after 66 minutes.

04 – Richie Gray: 7/10
Returning from illness Gray made his mark on the game with a strong performance in the line out, as well as with his attempts to gain ground with the ball in hand and defensively.

05 – Alastair Kellock: 6/10
Another strong performance in the line out. A spirited effort from the Captain but one that failed to inspire those around him to victory.

06 – Kelly Brown: 6/10
Made himself a key player in the pack with his red cap standing out, and worked incredibly hard. Unfortunately the other Killer Bs did not put in the same performance, so Brown lacked support.

07 – John Barclay: 5/10
Handling errors seem to be becoming characteristic with Barclay where they were not before. Another game with little positive impact from Barclay, and he was substituted for Nathan Hines 66 minutes in.

08 – Johnnie Beattie: 5/10
Some poor defending decisions made by Beattie, and slow reactions at crucial moments of play. Did not make the same impact on the game as his Killer B cohort, Brown. Richie Vernon came on in his place after 54 minutes.

Replacements:

16 – Scott Lawson
Replaced Ross Ford, and whilst he was still dominated by the Irish pack, it was a steady performance when compared to Ford’s.

17 – Geoff Cross
Brought on twice, first 45 mints in as a strategic substitute for Beattie during Jacobsen’s time in the bin, and then again 66 minutes in as a replacement for Moray Low. Did not bring anything new to the scrum, or the rest of the game.

18 – Nathan Hines
Replaced Barclay. Contributed considerably to the final rally from Scotland in the closing 10minutes.

19 – Richie Vernon
Another player who contributed to the rally, Vernon put in a solid performance and made some feisty runs.

20 – Rory Lawson
Came in at scrum half, and gave a consistent performance. Appeared to have more support than the swift Blair.

21 – Dan Parks
Took over the goal kicking duties when he came on after 54mins. A stronger goal kicker than Jackson, Parks successfully kicked a penalty and a drop goal. His other kicks lacked strategy, like they did against Wales, and showed that the team were on the back foot and running out of ideas.

22 – Simon Danielli
Came on with too little time to make an impression on the game.

Overall: 6/10
This was a better performance from Scotland than we saw against Wales, especially the final ten minutes as they desperately tried to break through the Irish line. There needs to be much more work done on the defence, as the Irish found it easy to break through the many gaps that opened up, and also work needs doing in the rucks, as the Scots were turned over countless times.

By Christine Lester