England Player Ratings versus France

England were much improved against the French on Saturday, but there’s no denying that there is a very long way to go before these players can challenge the best teams in the world.

Here are my views on who played well and who didn’t.

Tim Payne – 4/10
The English scrum was taken apart by a superior French front row, and Payne’s contribution in the loose is still minimal.

Dylan Hartley – 5/10
Another disappointing performance from Hartley, and he’s had such a good opportunity now that people might start losing patience.

Dan Cole – 4/10
Comfortably beaten in the scrum to suggest that he hadn’t really been tested in previous games. Taken off at half time, but let’s hope he learns from the experience and comes back better.

Louis Deacon – 4/10
Somebody said that he looks like a lower league club player that has won a competition to play for England, or perhaps he’s been collecting cereal boxes.

Tom Palmer – 5/10
Came on early for Shaw, but it’s still a mystery as to why he leapfrogged Courtney Lawes as the replacement for Steve Borthwick. Reasonable effort but hardly talismanic.

Joe Worsley – 7/10
Did the job asked of him again, making lots of tackles and offering every ounce of energy. Deserves to be keeping James Haskell out of the side at the moment.

Lewis Moody – 8/10
Led by example as part of a much-improved back row effort, and may just have done enough to persuade Johnno that he doesn’t need to return the captaincy to Borthers.

Nick Easter – 6/10
I’d hoped that taking on Imanol Harinordoquy might force Easter to raise his game, but he was outclassed by his opposite man.

Danny Care – 6/10
A reasonable game behind a struggling set-piece and always looked to raise the tempo. I’m not convinced he’s the right man for England and would like to see Ben Youngs on the summer tour.

Toby Flood – 7/10
Took his opportunity well and his first instinct was to pass rather than kick, managing to release the backline on several occasions despite the forwards struggling.

Chris Ashton – 6/10
Looked sharp and unfazed by the occasion, and should certainly be retained despite one or two errors and the squandering of a great scoring opportunity.

Riki Flutey – 5/10
Couldn’t raise his game in the same way that others did around him. Looks like a different player from the Flutey of last season and the Lions tour.

Mike Tindall – 7/10
Deserves more praise for his off-the-ball running that creates space for others. Also did a great job in defence and his experience must have been valuable.

Mark Cueto – 7/10
Having been Mr Dependable on the wing in recent matches, Cueto showed that he can also be a potent attacking threat. One of the best England players I’d say.

Ben Foden – 8/10
His performance should be a lesson to Johnno that he should pick on form rather than reputation. Was bright and hungry for work and a real breath of fresh air for an England side that have been so awful to watch.

5 thoughts on “England Player Ratings versus France

  1. The scrum was a mess and not helped by the ref. But the front 5 have only themselves to blame and that is where the game was lost. Ashton threw away a golden scoring opportunity with his silly kick, when offloading to the 2 men outside him would have been a certain try.

    I think your scoring is pretty close, trouble is what will MJ have in mind when the regulars suspects are fit to be selected?
    He must keep Foden and I guess Ashton could be worked on and given more confidence, but Borthwick should not be captain again, he just is not inspirational. Moody led by example and the team responded. A long way still to go, agreed.

  2. Agreed. Although Palmer was not doing a bad job out there. Take into account that when partnering Deacon in the second row you always play alone. You have to do the work for two. Stil not taking Lawes is a major mistake. The scrum (1st line) was a mess indeed and we knew from the beggining that we are not the strongest there. Therefore you need to bolster the scrum with a extreme stong pack behind it and I am afraid that people like Deacon can not provide this to be honest. Hartley really had his chance now. Next one in please. Cole is a good young lad just ruined this time. Good lesson and he will work hard to come out better. Payne is not good enough after all. Ben Foden is the guy we need and he was FANTASTIC under the high ball. Remember that Johnno left him out for Monye and Cueto in the Autumn internationals. My goodness. With sucjh a 15 it is always lively. Tindall was instrumental. Ashton made a big mistake and he knew it, but still I thought he played ok. He is a dangerman and we should give him some more confidence. It will be payed out during the World Cup, just like Dan Cole.
    At the end of the day it was the best performance and the most hopefull one.

    BTW; Worst guy on the field Dylan Hartley and the Ref!

  3. This England team does have some young guys with potential, the question is if we have the coaching team to develop them, Ashton will probably be dropped, experience being the excuse.

    Moody’s team talk must have been different because England looked intent on killing the other team rather than boring them to death, loved him as captain but yet another appointment that we have been screaming for since the autumn.

    The pack was a mess and I thought the backrow did well to clean up a lot of crap. I still believe Cole has a future, Mullen too, Hartley is running out of oppurtunities. The scrums failing is the secondrow, there is no push for the guys upfront. We need to revamp that area and fast. Lawes has to be in, Shaw if fit but we need to find more than those two lads. Borthwick, Deacon, Palmer will never make it at this level.

    The lineout was a shambles mainly due to Hartley, but where are the jumpers. Kennedy has to be in the mix, him and Lawes to compete for a place along side shaw at the moment. Croft’s return will also help that department a lot, our wonderfully creative performance against the french last year was due to quick ball off the back (Croft) he has to develop other parts of his game but the lad has a future. We need a number 8, but I have no idea where we will find one Easter is the bes we have but a long way short, behind him I don’t know, Dowson is looking good why not give him a try.

    The backs looked better, I felt sorry for Flutey it is tuff coming back from injury he shoud be stuck with, We need an option at outside centre. Tindall was imense but he is getting on. Hipkiss is his natural replacement but well I don’t know about that. The back three looked good, really good and dangerous which is not a word which has been assosiated with England recently.

    This team has hope but no time and no coaches Unless England can sort the forwards out there is no point talking about dangerous backlines.

    My solution:

    Get on the phone to Sir Geech pay him whatever he wants, give him whatever coaches he wants and step aside. Preferably Jim Telfor as forwards coach. Maybe sound crazy all these scots but we need guys who can build a team fast and they can do that.

    I am dreaming of course but what the hell

  4. Agree with Proppie I thought that Palmer had a decent game and deserved more than a 5. I didn’t think that Worsley deserved a seven, but hey ho. As for my future selection:

    I think that England need to stick with Cole, yes he had a torrid time but he will get over it. I also think that we need to stick with Hartley, his throwing was not great, but he does bring impact and can play in the loose, hopefully Sherridan will be back soon and Payne can drop to the bench. I would love to see, Kennedy as a regular second row, partnering Lawes, he would improve England,s line out and he is strong and mobile I would keep Palmer and drop Deacon. In the back row Easter has got to go, too slow and lacks impact, Jorden Crane to replace him, Moodey to stay on the open side and a fit Tom Croft or for now Le Hask. I thought Tindall had a great game and was surprised to see him go off. I think that we need to stick with the Tindall, Flutey partnership. I don,t rate Cuato, I do rate Ashton (who I thought had a good debut) he was criticized for kicking the ball away in a try scoring opportunity, Cuato did the same. I would rather play Monye who has out and out pace or Simpson Daniel. Foden must be first choice full back for England and on current form the first name on the team sheet, he offers so much and sucks in defenders, giving other players room. Care I feel does not link well between the forwards and backs and I think its time to give Ben Youngs a decent run. Finally the No 10, tough one as either Flood, Wilkinson or Geraghty (Played second fiddle to Myler on sunday) all give different dimensions to this position, my heart say Shane Geraghty but my head says Flood. Thats my two pence for what its worth and PS MJ please dont pick Borthwack again.

  5. I believe that England are slowly showing promise, but its VERY slow! Too slow in fact, and this is partially due to continual errors in my opinion, in the managements selection. Here are a few examples:
    1. Armitage should have gone after the Italy game. He had a howler against Wales (despite his interception and offload at the end), and MJ gave him a chance against Italy, which again proved another howler. Foden should have come in against Ireland, but instead ad to wait two games more than before he got his chance. And boy did he take it! Nothing says “You should have picked me mate” better than scoring in the opening five minutes, and great finishing aswell.

    2. Borthwick is a good solid second row, but not a captai of international qulaity. He may lead a premiership team well, but thats a different ball game. He lacks passion and commitment, and that for me is the biggest aspect of selecting your skipper. MJ was described as being “the first man over the top of the trench” as a Captain, and he backed this up with a firey command and his dominating prescence. For me the only one who is anywhere near that stage is Moody, who plays like a wild man every game, and puts in 100%. Was glad to see him Captain against France.

    3. England lack command in the backs. In the old days, Wilkinson had Dawson and Catt/Tindall outside him to help make the big calls. Wilkinson has povedh e has very little command. I think Flood has the potential to boss a backline, as has Ellis when he is recovered, and in the meantime much could be learned from Tindall. He may not be the force he was, but his knowledge is something that could bulster the backs.

    So, in conclusion, pick the players who are on form, not ones who live off reputation. Foden, Lawes and Ashton should have played all this championship, or at least had more time on the pitch coming off the bench. Take the captaincy of Borthwick, and give it to Moody. Select a backs leader with the dominance to boss the line, and stick with him. Ultimately, dont be afraid to mix things up if the team is consistnely underperforming. England proved on Saturday that at their best, and with the right selection, they can win. They could have won the tournament. Now lets back up the team that took France to the wire. They proved they can do it, and that was with uncapped players. Bloodthem on the summer tours, and by autumn we could have ourselves a decent team again.

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