You know it hasn’t been a great performance when you can’t find more than three players who deserve a rating higher than 5 out of 10. Let me know if you think these observations are fair.
Tim Payne – 5/10
Did reasonably well in the scrums against Scelzo, despite giving away a penalty or two. Anonymous in the loose once again.
Dylan Hartley – 6/10
So desperate to make an impact that he seemed a little too frantic at times, but lineouts were good and if everyone else appeared to care as much as Hartley, we might get somewhere.
Duncan Bell – 5/10
Probably as surprised as anyone to last the full game, but gave it a good crack and did his job in the scrum.
Louis Deacon – 4/10
Second week in a row where he’s hardly contributed. He was hardly used in the lineout and was nowhere to be seen in the loose.
Steve Borthwick – 5/10
Made a couple of carries and even offloaded the ball once, but nothing much else to report from another England match that desperately lacked leadership and someone to make a decision about how to play the game.
Tom Croft – 5/10
Croft was an effective lineout option, but that should be a bonus aspect of his game, rather than all of it. He could offer so much more, but hasn’t over the last fortnight.
Lewis Moody – 8/10
Another heart-warming performance, although appeared a little desperate at times that his endeavour was not enough to lift those around him.
James Haskell – 5/10
Exposed a little at the base of the scrum, handing over possession with some basic errors that an international number 8 should not make, but probably still our best option.
Paul Hodgson – 5/10
Selected to up the tempo apparently, but it didn’t seem to work. Kept kicking the ball away, and looked like Danny Care last week trying the dig the ball from every heap of bodies.
Jonny Wilkinson – 4/10
Painful to watch at times, given that he’s such a hero. Kicking from hand was dire and far too frequent, and even missed a few shots at goal. The wind was blowing, but that shouldn’t affect decision-making as much as it seemed to.
Matt Banahan – 4/10
Scored the winning try to save England’s blushes, but another ineffective game. Argentina regularly kicked behind him proving that even their inexperienced backline could spot him as a weak link.
Shane Geraghty – 5/10
Yet another long afternoon without the quick ball he needs to thrive. More ineffective kicking and just didn’t seem to threaten at all.
Dan Hipkiss – 5/10
England’s midfield battering ram spent the first half chasing the kicks by those inside him, but the kicks were so poor he couldn’t get anywhere near them. Got into the game more in the second half when he was actually given the ball, but found it difficult to contribute.
Mark Cueto – 7/10
England’s best back by some distance, even if he didn’t have the gas to score with the tryline begging. Switched to full-back about an hour too late and shored things up at the back.
Ugo Monye – 2/10
Another disaster at full-back, and one I hope Johnno learns from. Head dropped along with all the kicks and almost looked uninterested towards the end. Had a chance to counter-attack with men outside, but chose to kick, which sums England up.