PLAYER RATINGS: van der Merwe stole the show at Twickenham

PLAYER RATINGS: Duhan van der Merwe stole the show at Twickenham after scoring two brilliant tries, as Ollie Chessum shines despite falling to defeat in England’s Six Nations opener

  • Duhan van der Merwe was the standout player in England and Scotland’s game 
  • Ollie Chessum was superb despite being on the losing side at Twickenham 
  • Steve Borthwick falls to defeat in first game in charge during Six Nations opener 

Scotland put down a marker in their opening game of the Six Nations as they eased past England 23-29 at Twickenham on Satuday.

It was a nightmare start for life as England coach for Steve Borthwick as he watched the visitors score a late try to overturn the score and snatch a win. 

Sportsmail’s Adam Hathaway and Calum Crowe were on hand to rate the players from both teams. 

Scotland lifted the Calcutta Cup after beating England 23-29 in their Six Nations opener

Freddie Steward – Did the business under the high stuff but missing for Scots’ second try. 6

Max Malins – One of the Premiership top poachers and showed why he is back in the side. 7

Joe Marchant – Slipped off tackle for Scots’ second score and England’s midfield misfired again. 5

Owen Farrell (capt) – Couple of big hits on Finn Russell and involved in England’s best attacking moments. 6

Ollie Hassell-Collins – First touch was poor and second one was a boot, went looking for work. 5

Marcus Smith – Gave it a crack but always looks a bit too frenetic and rushed at this level. 5

Jack van Poortvliet – Bit of a nightmare early with couple of fumbles and a missed tackle before being replaced. 5

Ellis Genge – England had their struggles again at scrum-time but got one over Scots after the break. 5

Max Malins scored two tries for England but still ended up on the losing side on the night

Jamie George – Big game player and showed up again despite not training all week. 7

Kyle Sinckler – Part of a misfiring set-piece in the first period when the Scots got on top. 6

Maro Itoje – Better than the autumn but still not back to the old Maro 6

Ollie Chessum – Superb. Tough as nails for a youngster, carried and won his line out share. 8

Lewis Ludlam – Great pass for Malins’ second try and always looked on front foot 6

Ben Curry – Like having his twin brother in the side. Got stuck in and carried hard 6

Alex Dombrandt – Mixed bag for the Harlequins No.8 with dropped balls and some inspiration 5

Replacements: Jack Walker (N/A), Mako Vunipola (for Genge 61) 5, Dan Cole (for Sinckler 61) 6, Nick Isiekwe (for Curry 61) 5, Ben Earl (for Dombrandt 56) 5, Ben Youngs (for Van Poortvliet 58) 5, Ollie Lawrence (for Marchant 76) 4, Anthony Watson (for Hassell-Collins 65) 5

England youngster Ollie Chessum was their most impressive player at Twickenham


Stuart Hogg – Helped Scotland clear their lines at times with some booming kicks but worrying to see him with an ice pack on his knee when he went off. 7

Kyle Steyn – Excellent under the high ball, the Glasgow Warriors skipper also made a great break down the wing in the second half. Key man in attack. 8

Huw Jones – Scored Scotland’s first try and now has five in five games against England. Also tackled well and fully justified his selection. 7.5

Sione Tuipulotu – Was on the receiving end of a huge early hit but composed himself and created a try for Jones with a lovely kick in behind. 7.5

Duhan Van Der Merwe – Tore through the heart of the England defence to score one of the all-time great Calcutta Cup tries. Second one wasn’t bad either. 9

Duhan Van Der Merwe was by far the best player on the pitch after scoring two brilliant tries

Finn Russell – Relatively quiet day by his own high standards but he still popped up at some key moments with some good passes in the second half. 7

Ben White – Showed great attacking instincts to score a try in the second half. Full of ambition and now has a firm grasp of the nine jersey. 8

Pierre Schoeman – Got through 19 tackles and also made a couple of decent carries as Scotland tested the England defence. 7

George Turner – Tried to offer some variety with his line-out throws and also put in some decent tackles before being replaced by Fraser Brown. 7

WP Nel – The old warhorse stood as strong as ever in the scrum. Will turn 37 in April but there’s still some gas left in the tank. 7

Richie Gray – A towering presence at the lineout, he also managed to disrupt England’s ball on a couple of occasions. Back to his very best. 7.5

Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie was vital in securing a late try and overturning the scoreline

Grant Gilchrist – Struck up a good partnership with Gray and got the better of Itoje and Co. Another good Calcutta Cup display from the Edinburgh man. 7

Jamie Ritchie – Skipper won a vital late turnover to help secure the victory. Can be immensely proud of his performance and the result. 8

Luke Crossbie – Another solid shift from the Edinburgh man after his heroics against Saracens a couple of weeks ago. Tackled everything that moved. 7.5

Matt Fagerson – Punched all sorts of holes in the England defence to help create some good attacking moves for Scotland. 7.5

Replacements: Fraser Brown (for Turner 59), Jamie Bhatti (for Schoeman 66),Simon Berghan (for Nel 59), Jonny Gray (for Gilchrist 66), Jack Dempsey (for Crosbie 59), George Horne (for White 70), Blair Kinghorn (for Hogg 66)


England: Tries: Malins 2, Genge; Con: Farrell; Pen: Farrell 2 

Scotland: Tries: Jones, Van der Merwe 2, White; Cons: Russell 3, R Byrne; Pens: Russell

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