15. Mike Brown: 8.5
Barring a complete aberration in Rome, the player of the tournament accolade is his. He was again slippery in attack, ducking and weaving his way through tackles on the way to beating seven defenders and making 145 metres. He was also a rock under the high ball.
14. Jack Nowell: 7
Nowell is an unfussy winger – not necessarily the most aesthetically pleasing, but equally a player who does little wrong. He made plenty of metres again at the weekend, without ever catching the eye too much, but there was one moment of brilliance as he offloaded to Courtney Lawes in the build-up to Burrell’s non-try in the second half. A project that is certainly worth sticking with for England.
13. Luther Burrell: 7.5
Three tries in your first four tests is a hell of a strike rate, and he would have made it four in four were it not for Halfpenny’s bravery. As it was, he finished his try smartly and made a few powerful runs elsewhere. Looks very comfortable at this level.
12. Billy Twelvetrees: 7.5
One of Twelvetrees’ better performances in an England shirt. His grubber through for Burrell’s try was genius, the vision exquisite and the weighting perfect to elude the Welsh defenders. He also mixed his game up well, running with the ball to greater effect than he has done in the past.
11. Jonny May: 6
May is undoubtedly elusive, but the trouble with his inside darts is that when he doesn’t find a gap, he just eats up space for others. There is less space in international rugby and he will have to work harder to find the gaps, but once in a while it would be great to see him pin his ears back and try the outside as he undoubtedly has the pace to make ground there.
10. Owen Farrell: 7.5
Farrell will never possess the verve of Quade Cooper, but he is rapidly becoming a top quality international fly-half. His kicking – both tactical and from the tee – is superb, and his decision making has improved. With Care looking dangerous inside him and Twelvetrees offering an alternative playmaking option outside, he looks very comfortable.
9. Danny Care: 8
Care’s trickery was to the fore early on as he twice tapped penalties quickly, one of which led directly to his try – although the Welsh must be lambasted for the schoolboy error of turning their backs on him. He is integral to the tempo with which England play, and his box-kicking has also improved immeasurably.
1. Joe Marler: 7.5
Another solid performance from Marler in the set piece, and it will have been hugely satisfying for him to get one over on Adam Jones after the mullering in Cardiff last year.
2. Dylan Hartley: 4.5
Anonymous in the loose and a penalty-machine in the tight, this was not vintage stuff from Hartley. He gave away four penalties, all of which were kicked by Halfpenny. On a day when England were hunting for as big a win as possible, you expected better from one of England’s most senior players.
3. David Wilson: 8
Have you seen a better offload from a prop than the one Wilson threw in the build-up to Care’s early try? It was magnificent, but aside from the flair what was most encouraging was the way he bent Gethin Jenkins into a pretzel, and he was duly sin-binned. Dan Cole, like so many other of the previous incumbents, faces an uphill struggle to get his shirt back.
4. Joe Launchbury: 7.5
More quiet industry from Launchbury, who is the perfect foil to Lawes’ headline-grabbing smashing. On the rare occasions that Wales did break England’s line, Launchbury was never far away to tidy up. The Wasps man has unbelievable stamina.
5. Courtney Lawes: 9
Lawes looks a completely different player to the one that so struggled in this tournament last season. He was once again imperious in the lineout, and his defensive shift was one of the best seen for some time, chopping down the big Welsh runners before they could build-up any steam. He also showed lovely hands in the build-up to Burrell’s non try.
6. Tom Wood: 7.5
16 tackles saw him top the tackle count for England, and again underlined how effective he is in this defensive unit. He was also a key source of lineout ball for the hosts.
7. Chris Robshaw: 6.5
A quiet game for the captain, who offered himself as a carrier on plenty of occasions but did not return as many metres as he might have liked. He also fell off more tackles (four) than usual. Overall, though, he should be credited for leading a spirited England performance.
8. Ben Morgan: 6
13 tackles made and none missed point to a high defensive work rate for Morgan, but England did miss the ball-carrying ballast of Billy Vunipola. Too often he looked unsure of himself and crabbed across the field, rather than using his considerable bulk to go forwards.
The subs weren’t used until the game was effectively out of sight, and Lancaster deserves credit for not changing people for the sake of it. Mako Vunipola got the most game time, and while he looked dangerous with ball in hand, the scrum did suffer.
Tom Youngs added accuracy where Hartley had given away penalties, while it was encouraging for George Ford to get his first taste of international rugby in the relaxed atmosphere of the final few minutes.
By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images