Once again, it was the usual suspects that stood out for England against New Zealand – let us know your thoughts on which players performed well.
Tim Payne – 5/10
New Zealand had the upper hand in the scrum, and Payne cost England points by punching his opposite man with the referee in a ringside seat. Mediocre series.
Dylan Hartley – 4/10
Made a couple of carries in the loose, but conceded several penalties and was awry with his throwing too often. Substituted for Steve Thompson with 30 minutes remaining.
Duncan Bell – 5/10
Cropped up in the loose once or twice, but was under pressure in the scrum. I bet he was distraught when he had to be brought back on in the second half.
Simon Shaw – 7/10
A huge presence and did the job he was asked to do. Also gave away a few penalties, but was infinitely more effective than Louis Deacon.
Steve Borthwick – 7/10
Perhaps playing alongside Shaw made him realise that he wasn’t the best lock in the country? Made some huge tackles and was dominant in the lineout.
Tom Croft – 6/10
Came on for Worsley after two minutes and had another reasonable game. It’s frustrating that we know how good he can be, but why isn’t he producing his best for England?
Lewis Moody – 7/10
Yet another determined performance and led England’s charge in the first quarter, diving into tackles head first and putting pressure on the All Blacks. A few penalties crept in, but he’s been England’s best player this autumn.
James Haskell – 6/10
Could well be the future at Number 8, but has a lot to learn. Clearly only practised the flick between his legs from the scrum with Hodgson, but carried well and has dynamism and determination.
Paul Hodgson – 6/10
Better passing than last week, which had an impact on the backs’ possession, and bossed the forwards more effectively. Useful experience, but he’s not that young.
Jonny Wilkinson – 6/10
Kicked much more effectively, and made some great tackles, but took a few wrong options. His distribution appeared to be better as well, but he has looked better playing for Toulon than he has for England over the last few weeks.
Ugo Monye – 7/10
Put last week’s shambles behind him and enjoyed a couple of breaks. Let’s hope that the improvement is proof enough that he should never feature at full-back for England again.
Ayoola Erinle – 5/10
Kept Ma’a Nonu reasonably quiet, which is probably the extent of his brief from the coaches. Wasn’t called upon to carry very much and unsurprisingly, didn’t create anything.
Dan Hipkiss – 5/10
Reasonable defensive performance, but offered very little in attack, despite enjoying plenty of possession. Only really knows how to run straight, so needs creative people around him, rather than Erinle and Banahan.
Matt Banahan – 4/10
Demonstrated his lack of armoury in attack and was exposed by Sivivatu for the try who stood him up and was able to offload. Dropped a sitter when Geraghty chipped it to him on the wing and brought on the biggest collective groan of the day.
Mark Cueto – 7/10
Looked comfortable under the high ball, much to the delight of the Twickers crowd. Another sharp performance, even if he isn’t going to set the world on fire with his attacking flair.