Here is my view of who performed well against Australia, and the larger number of players who didn’t. What do you think?
Tim Payne – 5/10
Seemed to be fairly solid in the scrum, but unable to contribute much in the loose. Probably did what was expected of him and not much more.
Steve Thompson – 6/10
Lineout was pretty effective thanks to his accurate throwing and he did the basics well, if little else.
David Wilson – 5/10
Another fairly indifferent performance from the anonymous front row, but set-piece was secure enough.
Louis Deacon – 4/10
What did he contribute to the game? A couple of lineout wins, but not enough drive and impact. No opposition team would pause over his name as they look for threats.
Steve Borthwick – 4/10
Anonymity isn’t something you normally look for in a captain. Another quiet game, just when England needed some authority.
Tom Croft – 5/10
Another big player with a small impact, Croft didn’t really get involved in the loose and I would have liked to have seen him hit a few rucks to speed up possession a little.
Lewis Moody – 8/10
Relatively outstanding. He looked as though he cared and made a difference at the breakdown. A defensive hero, and with a bit of support from the rest of the pack, the ball might come back a bit quicker on our ball.
Jordan Crane – 4/10
Has no dynamism, and is a bit like a slow Nick Easter, which is saying something. Haskell showed what we had missed all afternoon when he came on.
Danny Care – 5/10
A shadow of the player we’ve seen for Quins, and seemed to take forever to pass the ball. Favourite option was to give the short ball to a static forward, but that might not be his fault. Hodgson looked sharper when he came on.
Jonny Wilkinson – 8/10
The one man show was a shining light in England’s back line. The tactic of ‘give it to Jonny’ was always going to be found out at some stage, but it’s good to have him back.
Matt Banahan – 3/10
A huge disappointment having championed his case for selection. No gas, no urgency and looked like a second row on the wing (funny that!).
Shane Geraghty – 4/10
Poor decision-making and kicked away too much ball. Another whose club form didn’t translate to the international stage, which raises questions of what the England coaches are doing to these players.
Dan Hipkiss – 7/10
Crashed the ball up well and was strong in the face of a brutal defence. With no creative help around him, he was up against it, but did well considering.
Mark Cueto – 6/10
Ambitious and determined despite having very little space, and another who was let down by the rest of the side.
Ugo Monye – 3/10
Why put your best winger at full-back? I was all for it last week, but this was a lesson that hopefully Johnno will learn from. Disaster.
Duncan Bell – 6/10
Didn’t make a huge difference, for better or worse.
Dylan Hartley – 6/10
Was immediately noticeable when he came on, whereas Thompson was under the radar. Should start next week.
James Haskell – 7/10
Strong and dynamic, unlike most of the pack and another who should certainly start next week.
Courtney Lawes – 7/10
A tremendous cheer when he arrived for his first cap, and was immediately noticeable with a bit hit and a couple of carries. Must start next week ahead of Deacon.
Paul Hodgson – 6/10
Looked more determined to produce quick ball than Care had for the rest of the game.