SCOTLAND 20-17 ENGLAND PLAYER RATINGS: Duhan van der Merwe was Scotland’s most confident back while Matt Fagerson was a menace at the breakdown… but England’s Luke Cowan-Dickie ruined a good display with a sin-bin penalty try
- Scotland edged out England 20-17 during a thrilling Six Nations opener
- Eddie Jones’ side dominated the Murrayfield clash but ill-discipline cost them
- Marcus Smith scored four penalties and a try; Ben White scored for the hosts
- Sportsmail rates and slates every player who took to the field in Edinburgh
Murrayfield served up a treat for Six Nations fans as Scotland edged out a dominant England side via a thrilling 20-17 comeback win.
Eddie Jones’ visitors dominated the Edinburgh contest but went in at half-time 10-6 down as HIA substitute Ben White went over for the Scots, despite England fly-half Marcus Smith’s excellent kicking from penalties.
Harlequins’ Smith thought he had secured a win for England as his second-half try and two more penalties put the visitors 17-10 up – but the game changed with 15 minutes left to play.
Scotland edged out England 20-17 in a thrilling Six Nations opening weekend in Edinburgh
Defeat in the Calcutta Cup marked Tom Curry’s (right) first loss as stand-in England captain
On 65 minutes, Luke Cowan-Dickie conceded a penalty try for deliberately knocking-on into touch to deny Darcy Graham a try from Finn Russell’s kick, which earned him a yellow card for most of what remained.
Then Scotland fly-half Russell sent Murrayfield into raptures to kick over a penalty with eight minutes left to allow the hosts to retain the Calcutta Cup for the first time since 1984.
With the dust settling from the Edinburgh showdown, Sportsmail rates and slates all of the players who took to the field on Saturday afternoon…
SCOTLAND – By Rob Robertson at Murrayfield
Stuart Hogg – 8
Captain courageous who kept a cool head under pressure and was immense in defence.
Darcy Graham – 8
His break led to the try from debutante Ben White and was always a threat in attack.
Darcy Graham (right) was always a Scotland threat and forced Luke Cowan-Dickie’s penalty try
Chris Harris – 6
Being caught offside and giving away the penalty that turned an England lead from four to seven was the low point in an average display.
Sam Johnson – 6
Had a poor game and no surprise he was taken off on the hour mark with his replacement Sione Tuipulotu improving Scotland.
Duhan van der Merwe – 8
The most confident of all the Scotland backs who ran the ball back from everywhere.
Duhan van der Merwe was the most confident of all the Scotland backs on Saturday afternoon
Finn Russell – 8
Took his time to find his range but when he did he was magnificent.
Ali Price – 6
Came back on after a first half HIA but Scotland were better when replacement Ben White was on the pitch.
Rory Sutherland – 7
Taken off in 51 minutes along with the rest of the front row after England started to gain control.
Scotland sacrificed Rory Sutherland (left) on 51 minutes when England took control of the tie
George Turner – 7
The set piece held up well before he ran out of puff after giving his all.
Zander Fagerson – 8
The pick of the Scotland front row who should not have been taken off early.
Jonny Gray – 8
Played well in his first game for Scotland since the 2021 Six Nations against Ireland.
Scotland were able to welcome back Jonny Gray (up) – his first international game in 11 months
Grant Gilchrist – 8
Lost the ball at a key moment in the last minute which led to a nervous finish but the unsung hero of the pack.
Jamie Ritchie – 7
Quick to the break down before having to come off injured on the hour mark.
Hamish Watson – 7
Put a crocodile roll in on Tom Curry that turned a penalty in front of the posts for Scotland into one for England.
Matt Fagerson – 8
An absolute menace at the breakdown who was the pick off the Scotland back row.
Matt Fagerson (middle) was an absolute mance at the breakdown as he starred in the back row
Replacements: Stuart McInally (for Turner, 51) 7, Pierre Schoeman (for Sutherland, 51) 7W P Nel (Zander Fagerson, 51) 7, Sam Skinner N/A, Magnus Bradbury (for Ritchie, 59 mins) 6, Ben White (for Price 12 mins HIA ( for Price, 59 mins) 8, Blair Kinghorn N/A
ENGLAND – By Adam Hathaway at Murrayfield
Freddie Steward – 6
Early handling error was probably his first mistake in an England shirt but held up well in difficult game
Max Malins – 6
Dealt with the early high balls easily enough and got hands on the ball just not in the right areas.
England winger Max Malins got hands on the ball just not in the right areas at Murrayfield
Elliot Daly – 6
Used as one of three kicking options in the England midfield and kept Scotland pinned back at times.
Henry Slade – 6
Not the day for his running skills so used more as a kicker.
Joe Marchant – 5
Had Covid in the build-up and got caught out for Ben White’s try but tried to get hans on ball.
Marcus Smith – 7
Can do no wrong at the moment and took his try well proving one step ahead of the Scots defence.
Harlequins star Smith (middle) took his try well proving one step ahead of the Scots defence
Ben Youngs – 7
First half break showed his sharpness in his 113th game for England and was one of England’s better players.
Ellis Genge – 6
Part of a starting front row that had the Scots on toast at the scrums early on and was hard in carrying.
Luke Cowan-Dickie – 4
Yellow carded for deliberate knock on and that was the game there and then. Ruined a good first 66 minutes.
Cowan-Dickie’s concession of a penalty try and subsequent sin-bin changed the game entirely
Kyle Sinckler – 6
Doubts about his scrummaging were put to bed as he and the tight-head prop carried hard.
Maro Itoje – 6
All arms and legs again, superb in the line out and made a nuisance of himself around the park.
Nick Isiekwe – 5
Another caught out in the White’s try as the Scots made the most of the mismatches but did his nuts and bolts.
Lewis Ludlam – 6
An hour of solid graft for the Northampton captain, some decent carries, and got stuck in without setting it alight.
Forward Lewis Ludlam some decent carries, and got stuck in without setting the world alight
Tom Curry – 7
Piled in and got better of the Scots at the breakdown, led by example in fierce battle.
Sam Simmonds – 6
Couple of early carries showed his worth but not as dominant as he is with Exeter in the Premiership.
Replacements: Jamie George (for Simmonds 69) 5, Joe Marler (for Genge 63) 5, Will Stuart (for Sinckler 63) 5, Charlie Ewels (for Isiekwe 77) 4, Alex Dombrandt (for Ludlam 63) 5, Harry Randall (N/A), George Ford (for Smith 63) 5, Jack Nowell (for Marchant 80) 5
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