15. Stuart Hogg – 7
An excellent defensive display from a player who is increasingly looking like an elite full-back. Stopped anything that came near him with strong tackling while also trying his hardest to get Scotland counter attacking.
14. Sean Maitland – 7
Not able to show much of his attacking threat over the course of the match but did well to stop Ireland from making any major gains. Did excellently to to prevent O’Driscoll cutting through Scotland’s defense.
13. Sean Lamont – 6
Another player who poses a real threat going forward but was mainly used as a defensive blocker, stopping O’Driscoll et al before they could get motoring. Scotland need him to find more gaps and utilise his size and power.
12. Matt Scott – 7
Defended brilliantly, slowing Ireland down and preventing any sort of Irish momentum to gain any speed. Withstood early pressure to hold firm and stop any Irish threats. Scott looked poised, assured and well beyond his 22 years at the centre of Scotland’s resistance.
11. Tim Visser – 6
One of Scotland’s main attacking weapons but another who barely found himself with the ball or the space to run in. Visser had to settle for defensive work and proved that he can get his hands dirty in withstanding wave after wave of attacks.
10. Ruaridh Jackson – 7
It wasn’t the most composed performance we have seen but Jackson still managed to keep Ireland at arm’s length. He again worked well with Laidlaw, which is an encouragement. The jury is still out on Jackson as a long-term ten but based on his last two performances there is no doubting he should be given the chance to take Scotland further.
9. Greig Laidlaw – 8
Laidlaw slotted four penalties to help secure Scotland’s first back-to-back Six Nations win in a decade. He kept Scotland within touching distance of Ireland despite the visitors having over 70% possession and playing about 75% of the match in Scotland’s own half.
1. Ryan Grant – 7
Sent to the sin-bin early for a silly mistake but brought power and strength to the Scottish scrum. He fronted-up well in the face of a strong Irish front three. Also made 12 tackles, an impressive number for a front row forward.
2. Ross Ford – 6
Ford scrummaged well to help lay on a platform for Laidlaw and Jackson to build from. Overall was consistent in defense and offered himself as a viable attacking option whenever he could.
3. Geoff Cross – 7
Overall performed well to keep Ireland’s big forward pack at bay. Brought in as Murray’s replacement and didn’t put a foot wrong in an impressive front-row performance.
4. Richie Gray – 7
He and Hamilton did the dirty work, soaking up the Irish power runners with ease. Impressed with his tireless work ethic, never relenting to allow Ireland an opportunity to break free.
5. Jim Hamilton – 8
Like Gray, Hamilton defended without error putting in a hard shift which earned him a well deserved man of the match award. Set-pieces were good, pilfering several Irish line-outs.
6. Rob Harley – 7
Went off early to get treated for a cut but came back and demonstrated why he is one of Scotland’s most impressive back-row players. Ran hard, worked the channels well and defended like his life depended on it.
7. Kelly Brown – 8
Lead by example, tackling anything and everything that came his way and making 15 in total. He personified Scotland’s resilient defense. An excellent captain’s performance which won’t have escaped the eye of Gatland and the rest of the Lions selectors.
8. Johnnie Beattie – 7
Wasn’t his usual busy self but still offered a powerful running option while disrupting Ireland’s play as often as he could. Another consistent game from a markedly improved player.
Duncan Weir showed glimpses of his potential with a couple of half-breaks and intelligent kicks, and also managed to make more metres in 20 minutes than anyone did in 80. Other than that, no-one really made a difference but instead just added themselves to the heroic defensive effort.
By Alexander McLeman