15. Stuart Hogg: 1
Scotland’s best player before today but he left his team in a right old mess with a stupid, needless red card after hitting Dan Biggar late. Showed glimpses of his running and kicking talent before the incident on 22 minutes but at the end of the day, the loss is largely down to him.
14. Dougie Fife: 4
Received a lot more of the ball after stepping in at fullback after Hogg’s red. Did incredibly well to get back and make two superb cover tackles after Wales broke the line twice in the first half, but also missed a number of tackles as well. He must have got sick at the sight of red jerseys running past him.
13. Alex Dunbar: 3.5
He uncharacteristically missed a number of easy-ish tackles and at least two meant that Wales were able to play on and score. Received virtually no ball in attack and spent most of the game helping Scott when he took the ball in.
12. Matt Scott: 5
Stood up and made himself known when it mattered most. He carried hard and although opposite number Jamie Roberts scored a brace, neither try was Scott’s fault. His tackling was solid as per usual and it was a shame that Weir used him so one-dimensionally.
11. Max Evans: 3.5
Started well and made a good number of yards and he looked hungry for the ball but his offloading game was dire. As soon as Hogg was carded, Evans just seemed to disappear from the game and he was nowhere near the ball whenever Wales broke away down the wings.
10. Duncan Weir: 3.5
The overshot cross-kick when Scotland had a penalty and free ball seemed to sum up Weir’s game, not just today, but in general. His execution of the most basic skills is poor and the only silver lining is that he improved when Chris Cusiter gave him better ball. A fly-half should be able to provide his backline with some sort of spark.
9. Greig Laidlaw: 3
Not too sure what has happened this campaign but his kicking for goal was atrocious. His distribution was far too slow and it meant that his forwards and Weir were always surround by Welsh players. Cusiter needed to come on a lot sooner.
1. Ryan Grant: 4.5
Did well in the loose again but it looked like he was struggling against Rhodri Jones in the scrum and he was having to bore in. Two scrums and two penalties in the first half.
2. Scott Lawson: 4.5
Are you Ross Ford in disguise? The hooker did Scotland no favours with constant overthrows in the lineout, gifting Wales possession, and in one instance, leading to a try. His work in the loose was better though and he made a good number of carries and tackles.
3. Geoff Cross: 4
Made a good amount of tackles for a prop but that was about all that Cross could muster. He made no carries and he didn’t trouble Gethin Jenkins in the scrum. Replaced by Euan Murray early on in the second half.
4. Richie Gray: 5.5
Got into double figures with his tackling and made his presence known in both the loose and the lineout. He might not have played ‘well’ but it’s hard to see another second row that could have the impact that he did. It makes the fact that he was dropped for the first few games all the more confusing.
5. Jim Hamilton: 4.5
Did as well as he could under the circumstances. Charged down a kick and constantly came through the ruck to put pressure on Mike Phillips. Still gave away a couple of penalties though.
6. Ryan Wilson 4
It was easy to forget that Wilson was playing until he threw that terrible pass in the last play of the game. He carried a few times and made a few tackles but I’m going to keep saying this until he’s dropped: he’s not international standard just yet.
7. Kelly Brown: 5.5
Had to be replaced by Alasdair Strokosch after eight minutes due to a suspected concussion. Made a couple of big tackles and slowed down the Welsh ruck before his demise.
8. Dave Denton: 7
Showed an incredible amount of heart and seems to be getting better and better with each game. Had to drop back to help in defence and to receive kicks and he won the contact area more often than not. Scotland’s best player by a mile.
Strokosch was the first player on quite early and he played well; getting stuck in and making 11 tackles. Murray followed at halftime and he seemed to put Jenkins under more pressure than Cross did and Alasdair Dickinson also helped at scrum time.
Ford’s first input was a poor lineout but fair play to the hooker, he made hard yards and tackled well. Tim Swinson didn’t have much time to do anything and neither did Duncan Taylor apart from a crunching hit on Rhys Priestland. Scotland’s best period of play came when Cusiter replaced Laidlaw; everything just became more fluid and Wales were actually on the back foot for what seemed like a half-decent amount of time.
By Calum Gillon (@C_Gillon)
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images