England Player Ratings

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.

4 thoughts on “England Player Ratings

  1. 1. Payne – 6/10
    2. Thompson – 6/10
    3. Wilson – 6/10
    4. Deacon – 2/10
    5. Borthwick – 4/10
    6. Croft – 5/10
    7. Moody – 7/10
    8. Crane – 4/10
    9. Care – 6/10
    10. Wilkinson – 9/10
    11. Banahan – 3/10
    12. Geraghty – 4/10
    13. Hipkiss – 6/10
    14. Cueto – 6/10
    15. Monye – 3/10

    Hartley – 7/10
    Lawes – 7/10
    Haskell – 7/10
    Hodgson – 6/10
    Erinle – 2/10

  2. A very solid set of player ratings James, I’ll post the ones that I disagree on but otherwise I think you put a lot of thought into them.

    Borthwick – 6/10 – strong in the lineout in the first half with a couple of excellent steals. He has good lineout technique and uses his hands well, but still he lacks the presence of better locks. Didn’t see him much in the loose, which is no bad thing given that he has the ability (or lack of) of Paul O’Connell when playing with the ball in-hand.

    Croft – 6/10 – just an extra mark, but deserved. He did a lot of good work in the rucks, highlighted by winning a penalty for an Aussie holding on. His perfect body position over the ball could be seen once everyone climbed off and you could see him still holding onto the ball, triumphant. I would like to see him more in the loose but I’ve equally criticised him in other games for hanging around on the wing too much and not performing his duties, so it’d be unfair to moan here. The best place for him is on the chase and counter-attack. I’d love to see him challenging for a few up-and-unders with his combination of height and speed.

    Geraghty – no issue with the mark (4/10) that you gave. But he must must must play next week against Argentina. He has shown enough class in the Premiership that he deserves to redeem his reputation. The same cannot be said for Banahan.

    Next week:
    1. Payne
    2. Hartley
    3. Wilson
    4. Shaw
    5. Lawes or Kennedy
    6. Croft
    7. Moody
    8. Haskell
    9. Hodgson
    10. Wilkinson
    11. Monye
    12. Geraghty
    13. Hipkiss
    14. Cueto (well, Strettle, but that dream seems unlikely)
    15. Foden (anyone but Monye here)

  3. 1. Tim Payne – Solid, unexceptional 5

    2. Steve Thompson – Offers nothing compared to 6 years ago, although his lineouts are possibly less bad. 4

    3. David Wilson – Solid, unexceptional. 5

    4. Louis Deacon – Still waiting to see why he is ever picked. Most anonymous player to ever pull on the shirt. 2

    5. Steve Borthwick – Glad to say that this was his best game for some time at this level. 3 lineout steals and few errors. Not a carrier, never will be though. 7

    6. Tom Croft – Not involved enough, but balance of back-row is all wrong for Croft. 5

    7. Lewis Moody – Is he now truly an open-side? 8

    8. Jordan Crane – Lazy. Slow. Doesn’t like rucks. 3

    9. Danny Care – I expect to see Care slipping down the pecking order soon as Simpson and Hodgson are out performing him too often. 4

    10. Jonny Wilkinson – Defensively fantastic, offensively hit and miss. Too deep and too predictable at times, but still one of the best. 7

    11. Matt Banahan – Rubbish would sum it up. 2

    12. Shane Geraghty – I think he was massively hampered by Wilkinson’s deep position at times, but Geraghty is going to have to do much, much better. 3

    13. Dan Hipkiss – a man at 13 who can’t or never passes will never make much of an impact. Hence Jamie Noon…… 5

    14. Mark Cueto – at least he tries to play rugby even though he has to feed on scraps. 6

    15. Ugo Monye – One of the worst performances I have seen in an England shirt. Took 74 minutes before even looking to pass. Genuinely pathetic all-round – passing, positioning, decision-making. 1

    The subs that got a chance to show anything:

    Duncan Bell – solid, unexceptional. 5

    Courtney Lawes – could be the chosen one. 7

    James Haskell – dynamic. 7

    Paul Hodgson – quicker and brighter. 6

    Ayoola Erinle – cant catch. What is he doing here. 5

    Please, please, please can we see Lawes and Haskell start next week? And what has Jon Clarke got to do? Erinle???
    Hartley should probably start as well. England were utterly lacking in ball-carriers, a fact clearly obvious beforehand but apparently missed by Johnson. If nobody can get some pace on it up-front the rucks will be slow, the backline flat and chance of tries will be ZERO.

    If Monye plays it has to be at wing, but I think he is a poor all-round player and only any use when put into space, which looks unlikely in this side.

    I’ve had enough of this Johnson-led team already. I just don’t know if he understands how rucks work in the modern game. Picks the wrong players for the job as well. Going to have to be a big turnaround if we are to see any results before 2011.

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