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Scotland 24-27 Ireland: Player ratings after Jonathan Sexton's late penalty seals away win in Six Nations

Player ratings from an attritional Six Nations clash at Murrayfield, as Ireland withheld a late Scotland fightback to prevail 27-24, thanks to a late Jonathan Sexton penalty from the left wing

Keith Earls and Jonathan Sexton both played starring roles for the visitors
Image: Keith Earls and Jonathan Sexton both played starring roles for Ireland

Ireland picked up their second win of the Six Nations campaign, thanks to a hard-fought performance at Murrayfield on Sunday afternoon.

Here is how both sets of players fared...

  • Sexton penalty ends Scotland's late fightback at Murrayfield


15. Stuart Hogg: 7/10

Did not get the chance to open up his legs but masterminded the late surge which brought Scotland briefly level as he stepped up to replace Finn Russell at 10.

14. Sean Maitland: 7/10

Had his hands full dealing with James Lowe but generally coped well.

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13. Chris Harris: 6/10

Needed to do more to stop Ireland getting the upper hand in midfield.

12. Sam Johnson: 6/10

Made a key tackle on Lowe early doors. Made a couple of encouraging breaks but nothing which overly troubled Andy Farrell's men.

11. Duhan van der Merwe: 6/10

Tightly man marked by the Irish, who kept him quiet by doubling up any time the big Edinburgh wing got hands on ball.

10. Finn Russell: 6/10

Struggled to control the game despite scoring his first try since 2019. The sight of him trudging off late on with a head knock will be a concern for Gregor Townsend.

Finn Russell
Image: Finn Russell had a mixed afternoon

9. Ali Price: 6/10

It was the scrum-half's big mistake at the end as he allowed Ryan Baird to charge down a box kick which marred an otherwise sparking display and saw Ireland snatch victory.

1. Rory Sutherland: 5/10

Ireland had by far the better of the set-piece battles and the Edinburgh man was rarely seen in the loose.

2. George Turner: 4/10

Nightmare day for the hooker as Scotland's line-out fell to pieces. Given every chance to turn it around before being hooked with 15 minutes left.

3. WP Nel: 5/10

Given a going over by Cian Healy at scrum time. Looked rusty on his first Test start for 18 months.

4. Scott Cummings: 6/10

Best of a bad bunch when it came to Scotland's desperate line-out - but that is not saying much. 6

5. Jonny Gray: 4/10

A birthday to forget for the Exeter lock as he was hosed time and again by James Ryan at the line-out. Could be a decisive day in the race for a British and Irish Lions slot.

6. Jamie Ritchie: 6/10

Back from injury and put in some big hits but Ireland had the better of the breakdown battle.

7. Hamish Watson: 8/10

Made a vital turnover as Jamison Gibson-Park looks to snipe round from close range then produced a great finish as Scotland drew level late on.

Watson underlined his Lions credentials
Image: Hamish Watson underlined his Lions credentials

8. Matt Fagerson: 5/10

Still to fully convince in Scotland's problematic number eight jersey.

Replacements: 6/10

Huw Jones made the impact Townsend was looking for as he scored his first Test try in three years to kick-start Scotland's fightback. Scrum-half Scott Steele found himself filling in at flanker as Townsend's injury problems mounted. Hooker Dave Cherry should have been given longer than 15 minutes to try to settle down the Dark Blues' line-out.


15. Hugo Keenan: 5/10

Unable to display his full range of attacking skills and guilty of slack defending for Jones' try.

14. Keith Earls: 8/10

Pressure led to Ireland's opening score and produced some key interventions.

14 March 2021; Robbie Henshaw, left, is congratulated by Ireland team-mate Keith Earls after scoring his side's first try during the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Scotland and Ireland at BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo by Paul Devlin/Sportsfile
Image: Earls did enough in the air to help set up Robbie Henshaw's try

13. Garry Ringrose: 5/10

Poor decision to hack clear led to Russell's unconventional try and fell below his usual high standards.

12. Robbie Henshaw: 7/10

Alert to claim the opening try and continued his fine recent form with another solid, hard-working display.

11. James Lowe: 4/10

Yet to prove his international credentials. Poor defensively and culpable in both of Scotland's scores before being hooked.

10. Johnny Sexton: 7/10

Perfect record with penalties to move beyond 900 points for his country. Cross-field kick caused chaos which led to Henshaw touching down.

Ireland's fly-half Johnny Sexton kicks the winning penalty during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Scotland and Ireland at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on March 14, 2021. - Ireland won the game 27-24. (Photo by STU FORSTER / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STU FORSTER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Image: Sexton's late penalty won the game for Ireland

9. Jamison Gibson-Park: 5/10

Given the nod ahead of the fit-again Conor Murray but did not convince and failed to spot chance for early Ireland try.

1. Cian Healy: 6/10

Started well against WP Nel in the scrums but struggled later on before being replaced.

2. Rob Herring: 7/10

Performed well at the breakdown and Ireland's set-piece noticeably suffered following his withdrawal.

3. Tadhg Furlong: 7/10

Strong and steady. Nimble, fancy footwork in the first half will be long remembered.

4. Iain Henderson: 7/10

A menace at the lineouts. Produced important steals and key turnovers to keep his side on top.

5. James Ryan: 7/10

Content to stay out of the limelight and unselfishly grafted before being forced off. He was central to an effective Irish lineout.

6. Tadhg Beirne: 8/10

Bulldozed a try and immense throughout in front of watching Lions coach Warren Gatland.

Tadhg Beire, who has been one of the standout players in this year's Six Nations, is congratulated by teammates after scoring a try
Image: Tadhg Beirne, who has been one of the standout players in this year's Six Nations, is congratulated by teammates after scoring a try

7. Will Connors: 8/10

An absolute tackling machine. Aggressive all afternoon and crucial intervention denied Van Der Merwe.

8. CJ Stander: 7/10

Marked the occasion of his 50th Ireland cap with a trademark performance packed with powerful carries.

Replacements: 6/10

Andy Farrell utilised all of his forward replacements to help Ireland scrape success from bruising encounter.

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