England 54-26 SA Barbarians South – England Player Ratings

15. Alex Goode – 7

Showed some good touches when running the ball from deep, doing enough to be withdrawn at half-time in preparation from Saturday. If England go for two full backs, Goode will be involved.

14. George Lowe – 7

Looked excellent before his withdrawal due to injury, harassing the defence and taking his try well. Prognosis on his injury a concern.

13. Anthony Allen – 7

Botched a strong scoring chance at the end of the second half but plenty of great assists to put his hand up for a shot in the centres.

12. Jordan Turner-Hall – 6

Good work in the build-up to Care’s score. Carried well but was unspectacular, a simple break setting up Lowe’s try.

11. Christian Wade – 7

Yes he scored another hat-trick, but his defence at times was not up to standard. Carried well going forward, bouncing back even after getting knocked to the ground on more than one occasion. If he can work on his tackling, he could become quite the player.

10. Charlie Hodgson – 6

Too many missed conversions and dodgy passes spoiled what started out as a great performance full of impressive tactical kicking.

9. Danny Care – 8

Man on a mission and his try was well deserved. Never let the tempo drop, played the ball well and delivered an excellent kick for Wade’s first try. Into the 22.

1. Matt Mullan – 5

Expected to dominate in the scrum, it never happened for the Worcester prop and he toiled away throughout the afternoon in various rucks.

2. Joe Gray – 5

A few dodgy throws in the lineout and was rarely seen carrying in the loose, a fact that was made all the more clear after he was replaced by Tom Youngs.

3. Paul Doran-Jones – 6

Plenty of good tackling and fared better on his side of the scrum, but has slipped down the pecking order with Alex Corbisiero’s return to fitness.

4. Graham Kitchener – 6

One galloping try and a couple of nice takes at the restart. Lineout proved tricky going however.

5. George Robson – 6

Missed a big opportunity to put the pressure on Tom Palmer. Lineout occasionally fell to pieces and we didn’t see enough of him carrying the ball.

6. James Haskell – 4

Very disappointing. Yellow carded in the first half and failed to carry the ball up as England needed him to. Missed a big chance for Test selection.

7. Carl Fearns – 6

Anonymous much like Haskell going forward, but was seen putting in his fair share of tackles. Work in progress and replaced early by Jamie Gibson.

8. Thomas Waldrom – 8

Excellent. The Barbarians could not live with his power as he continually charged through the first tackler, bouncing over for his first try and smashing away the scrum-half Abrahams for his second. England need his power for the Test match in Joburg.


Taking out Dave Strettle and then Alex Goode at half-time left England short in the backs, meaning that Lee Dickson was deployed on the wing. Nick Abendanon did well considering he’d been with the squad for 24 hours, whilst Jamie Gibson toiled and Tom Youngs carried well.

by Ben Coles

9 thoughts on “England 54-26 SA Barbarians South – England Player Ratings

  1. So only Care and Fat Bast*rd from austin powers have put there hands up for selection. So much for Haskell’s new found “maturity”. So what if Kaplan was acting like a prat (he normally does) – you have to play what you’re dealt.

    Shame Lowe got injured, would like ot have seen him line up with Allen in the centres. I have a nasty feeling that Sl will hedge his bets this weekend and move Farrell to 12 to accomodate Flood and move manu to the wing. I hope I’m wrong. either give fareel another chance at 10, or drop him to the bench and let flood play at to, with Manu at 12 and JJ at 13. Flood and Farrell may have their limitations at 10 but they are worse at 12.

    I would hope that we get some pace on the wing in either Strettle or Monye. Whilst Brown, Ashton and Foden were solid enough, we did lack an out and out scorcher at the back – might help the kick chase strategy. Strettle not a particular favourite of mine but I recall he was quite good at chasing up kicks in the 6n.

  2. Hmm, you consider monye and strettle to have more pace than foden or Ashton? I would disagree strongly with that. The only winger in the squad that would have Ashton for pace would surely be wade? Also, I can see flood at ten, Farrell at 12 and manu at 13. I expect Joseph to start on the wing and then be moved to 13 and manu at 12 when either flood or Farrell comes off.

  3. Flood/Farrell 10/12 would be disastrous in my opinion. I’d like to see Flood/Manu/JJ as sugested by Benjit.

    I’d like to see Thomas the tank either take Morgan’s starting spot with Morgan dropping to the bench or just straight to the bench for Dowson.

    On the wing spot I’d go for Monye. Strettle is a bit of a nothing player and I’m not sure if Wade will be quite up to it physically. I think the kick-chase problem wasn’t really about pace as much as organisation/timing perhaps Strettle would be the best for this but I can’t stand him.

  4. Although there was some sign of progress in the back play, that was an abysmal performance from the pack. Can’t understand why Haskell was so bad. I hope Care and Waldrom do make it into the test 22 (bench spots) on the back of that. Lancaster’s post match comments seemed more supportive of Care than Waldrom so my hunch is only Care will make the bench.

    With the Haskell no-show I would keep Morgan in, hopefully he will have gained a little match fitness, and have Waldrom for impact, in same way Crusaders used to use him.

    My guess is we are going to have Flood and Farrell selected, but no idea which way round, either way will be underwhelming. I’m also hoping for the Flood, Tuilagi, JJ combo and like Nick would also go for Monye if fit.

    1. Haskell was so bad because that’s what Haskell is. To be frank, I’ve not seen him play well for a long time and that’s only really when England have had real ascendancy in a game.

      I’m still unimpressed by Wade. Yes he’s quick, but you need a lot more than that. His defence again showed a lot of immaturity and a lack of understanding of what is needed from a winger. Rushing up, coming inside to make tackles and forcing the cover tacklers even wider. A hat trick scored, but at least one conceded and he butchered a break away when he went into a 2 on 1 and tried to run around the tackler with Allen in the perfect place to receive the pass

      Care was bad. had a couple of nice little kicks, but he takes four paces sideways before passing. He doesn’t draw a man, he’ll get maimed if he tries it with SA. I also thought Alex Goode was more average.

      The players that impressed me were mainly Lowe, Allen and Waldrom. Lowe was running hard and strong and good lines until he got injured. Allen was responsible for a lot of the tries and the one he ‘butchered’ was – to be fair – overrun by the support and the pass was made more difficult. Waldrom was stirling. Against easy competition yes, but there signs of strong sensible rugby in his first try and his second showed his power and ability to spot a mismatch.

      It’s been Waldrom time for a while and Phil Dowson hasn’t impressed me yet. Consider also that Waldrom is cover for 6/7/8 too, I’d have thought he was worth at least a bench seat by now. I’d like to see Allen and Manu in the centres. Not just because they play for club together, but Lancaster’s gone down the route of 2 crash ball strong centres (Manu and Barritt) instead of the better choice of line runner/passer and crash ball. Maybe Joseph can run the lines with Manu, I’ve not seen enough of him. Personally I’d like to see
      Youngs, Flood, Tuilagi, Joseph at 9/10/12/13. The only thing I’d consider changing in the pack would be Waldrom – maybe on the bench. Not to say Foden had a bad game on the wing, but I’d rather he was at fullback and a winger on the wing.

  5. I think if you replace Youngs with Dickson, and have Care on the bench, the problem with Farrell is solved. Youngs only plays well with Flood outside him. The problem with playing Flood, Manu, JJ is the defensive line. Flood does not tackle like Farrell, and with only Manu as the main defensive line through the middle De Villiers and Steyne will have a field day. One possible combination is to have Flood 10, Manu 12, Farrell 13. This way the defensive line is stronger and Farrell picks up on any offloads from Manu, and distributes accordingly. If Foden is playing on the wing again (i.e. if Goode or Abendanon are going to play FB) then JJ goes on the bench.
    The question is who starts at 9? Youngs was not good last week, and was responsible for a lot of Farrell’s poor decisions, mostly due to bad passes. Dickson was good when he came on and got the ball out quicker and cleaner. Care by all accounts had a very good game yesterday, and deserves to be included, but does he start or come off the bench for impact? With all these points in mind, I’m going to go against everything I’ve just said and pick these 22 for Saturday:
    1. Marler, 2. Hartley, 3. Cole, 4. Botha, 5. Parling. 6. Johnson, 7. Robshaw, 8. Waldrom, 9. Dickson, 10. Farrell, 11. Ashton, 12. Tuilagi, 13. Joseph, 14. Foden 15. Goode
    16. Mears, 17. Stevens, 18. Palmer, 19. Morgan, 20. Care, 21. Flood, 22. Strettle.

  6. Flood and Farrell in the line is awful, I hate playing 10’s at centre it sounds clever but it weakens the line and ends up with guys playing pass the parcel, JJ on the wing would not be nice, he is going to be nervious enough playing his full debut test, so lets not put him out of position, chasing hi balls, let him play what he knows.

    Waldron has to go in, he has the combative skills that England need, Morgan is first choice but not if he isn’t 100%. Start Thomas and bring in Morgan in the 60th minute or so.

    The Farrell JJ decision will tell us a lot about SL mentality, he is under a bit of pressure, just a bit, and lets see if he plays it safe or goes for the riskier option.

  7. Really disppointed with our pack save for the Tank! That scrum should have dominated and that in turn would have stopped any momentum the Babas had. That first try was a joke and the players literally watched as it happened, inexcusable! This was supposed to be a game to help boost confidence ahead of the 2nd test but has left me feeling deflated

    I could go on and on but think I’ve made my point. On a positive note once Wade sorts out his defense he will be a great asset! Care must be in the 22 and Waldrom pushing hard.

    I really really hope we don’t play Fllod and Farrell but I can’t see SL dropping Owen whic is really annoying as the has to if we are to win this next test IMHO.

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