England v Scotland, player ratings: Finn Russell the clear winner in Lions duel with Owen Farrell

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Charlie Morgan
·7 min read
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Finn Russell (centre) pulls the strings for Scotland - GETTY IMAGES
Finn Russell (centre) pulls the strings for Scotland - GETTY IMAGES
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Scotland celebrated the 150th anniversary of the oldest rivalry in rugby by stunning England 11-6 to claim their first victory at Twickenham since 1983.

The 38-year wait for success at the home of the reigning Guinness Six Nations champions finally came to an end as Finn Russell inspired the underdogs to a magnificent win.

England

15. Elliot Daly 5/10

Eddie Jones kept the faith after an uncertain autumn, but Daly had few chances to shine. His main role was to cover the back field and return kicks.

14. Anthony Watson 6/10

Largely anonymous until he was needed to scurry out of trouble one metre from his own try line in the second period. More conspicuous from there.

13. Henry Slade 5/10

Suggested beforehand that he could be more prominent than he was last year, but England’s clunky back-play rendered him a passenger.

12. Ollie Lawrence 4/10

Challenged by Jones to assert himself, the 21 year-old had to wait over an hour for his first carry. That sums up England’s subdued afternoon.

11. Jonny May 4/10

Fluffed his first touch, an elementary high ball under very little pressure, and found himself starved of attacking opportunities.

10. Owen Farrell 4/10

For all his endeavour, the rust from last year endures. He was pushed out to midfield when George Ford came on and may stay there.

9. Ben Youngs 5/10

A wayward pass surrendered a good position for England in the opening quarter. That buoyed Scotland and Youngs spent most of his game on the back foot.

1. Ellis Genge 5/10

In the absence of Mako Vunipola and Joe Marler, this was a big day for Genge. It did not go his way opposite Zander Fagerson.

2. Jamie George 5/10

Trapped in a ruck to concede a penalty in midfield and struggled to impose himself on proceedings thereafter, despite willing. Luke Cowan-Dickie arrived early.

3. Will Stuart 6/10

Flipped a pass away from an early breakdown and tackled energetically. Also held his own in the scrummaging exchanges opposite Rory Sutherland.

4. Maro Itoje 7/10

Harried Ali Price at the base of breakdowns and was the most likely source of inspiration for England, forcing a strong maul turnover in the 57th minute.

5. Jonny Hill 5/10

Conceded a penalty in the second minute after Itoje had charged down Price and was put in the shade by Exeter colleague Jonny Gray.

6. Mark Wilson 5/10

This was a 20th Test for Wilson, and he is yet to let anyone down. Defended industriously but sacrificed in the 53rd minute for Courtney Lawes.

7. Tom Curry 6/10

Collared for a maul offence and did not stop trying but was comprehensively stifled by Scotland’s excellent back-rowers.

8. Billy Vunipola 5/10

Yellow carded in the 24th minute, paying the price for England’s repeated infringements. Tellingly, Ben Earl took over for the last 15 minutes.

Replacements

16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (on for George, 56) 6/10

A weapon to bring off the bench, Cowan-Dickie did lift things. He will be pushing for a start against Italy.

17. Beno Obano (on for Genge, 72) N/A

The loosehead’s Test debut felt overdue, coming with eight minutes to go.

18. Harry Williams (on for Stuart, 63) 6/10

The end of Kyle Sinckler’s suspension could well see Williams nudged out of the reckoning. Did make a number of tackles late on.

19. Courtney Lawes (on for Wilson, 53) 5/10

An 86th cap, and his first since last March, will go down as one of his more disappointing days in an England shirt.

20. Ben Earl (on for Vunipola, 67) 5/10

Could he have been introduced earlier? England certainly needed dynamism.

21. Dan Robson (on for Youngs, 56) 5/10

Was on for more than a quarter as Jones attempted to alter the momentum, but was untidy in the wet.

22. George Ford (on for Lawrence, 69) N/A

Only joined the fray with 10 minutes to go and Scotland scenting victory.

23. Max Malins (on for Watson, 76) N/A

Given just five minutes to spark something.

Scotland

15. Stuart Hogg (captain) 9/10

Scotland’s skipper skipped away from chasers and smashed punts to lift his side. Also deserves credit for challenging at the breakdown to snuff out England’s early chance.

14. Sean Maitland 8/10

Selected to nullify England’s kicking game, Maitland also helped Scotland pressurise England. Climbed to win possession in the build-up to Duhan van der Merwe’s try.

13. Chris Harris 7/10

Impressive for Gloucester in recent weeks and lively again here, knitting things together in midfield among more eye-catching teammates.

12. Cameron Redpath 9/10

Made of the right stuff. Began his debut with a left-footed clearance and dancing carries. Pounced over Tom Curry to win a defining breakdown penalty later.

11. Duhan van der Merwe 9/10

The burly wing has added another dimension to this back line and barged through two defenders for his try. Hunted for work all over the pitch.

10. Finn Russell 7/10

Fizzed passes and teased kicks to probe England’s defence, but then saw yellow after a trip on Youngs and missed a penalty.

9. Ali Price 8/10

Price endured a tough start in the shadow of Itoje before. Managed the period Scotland were down to 14 brilliantly, though.

1. Rory Sutherland 6/10

Tipped by many to be in contention for Lions selection, yet could not quite assert superiority over Stuart. May still make Warren Gatland’s squad.

2. George Turner 8/10

Carried with real venom all over the field, throwing a nice pass to Van der Merwe for Scotland’s try. A wholehearted and effective outing.

3. Zander Fagerson 7/10

Slipped to concede the first scrum penalty, then forced one his way. A burrowing runner who is difficult to put down.

4. Scott Cummings 8/10

Quietly busy and clever, Cummings was Scotland’s engine. An understated yet vitally important player at lock who lasted all 80 minutes.

5. Jonny Gray 9/10

Marshalled the lineout intelligently, warding off the threat of Itoje and nabbing a crucial steal on the stroke of half-time.

6. Jamie Ritchie 7/10

Could not force the breakdown steals that have become his trademark but caught the eye on the other side of the ball with some slippery carries.

7. Hamish Watson 9/10

Dented England’s midfield with an early charge that earned a penalty and dump-tackled Daly much later. Fitting that he chipped into touch to end the game.

8. Matt Fagerson 8/10

In something of a problem position for Scotland, Fagerson enhanced his reputation. Picked off an England lineout and proved difficult to contain.

Replacements

16. David Cherry (on for Turner) N/A

The Edinburgh man arrived for a memorable debut with 13 minutes to go.

17. Oli Kebble (on for Sutherland, 64) 6/10

Bolstered the Scotland scrum as England attempted to seize control.

18. WP Nel (on for Fagerson, 64) 6/10

Racked up six tackles as well as contributing to the sturdy set piece.

19. Richie Gray (on for Ritchie, 66) 6/10

Gray senior had not faced England since 2017. This was a happier result, and he added muscle.

20. Gary Graham (on for Fagerson, 64) 7/10

Excelling in the Premiership for Newcastle, Graham has finally faced the side he nearly represented in 2018. The perfect man to join a defensive stand.

21. Scott Steele (on for Price, 69) 6/10

Only on the field for 10 minutes, which was enough to be a pest at the breakdown.

22. Jaco van der Walt, not used

23. Huw Jones (on for Maitland, 72) N/A

England’s nemesis in 2018 only saw eight minutes of action.