15. Leigh Halfpenny: 7
His flawless kicking kept his side in the running until half time and his positioning was as sound as ever. The fullback’s epic tackle on Luther Burrell mirrored the try saving heroics he displayed in this fixture in 2012, but while two years ago he was left bruised and victorious, on Sunday he suffered a dislocation and defeat.
14. Alex Cuthbert: 5
The first time Cuthbert took the ball on in space, in the 50th minute, he initiated Wales’ most promising attacking phase with a powerful burst. But he never threatened the England try line, and looked just as stranded as his teammates, as his opposite man, Jonny May, scampered around the park freely.
13. Jonathan Davies: 4
Before this contest, Davies had played only 80 disjointed minutes of regional rugby, since suffering a pectoral injury in early November and his rushed return has only highlighted the shallowness of the Welsh midfield. He looked rusty and timid as he failed to trouble the English defence. Dominated by his opposite number, Luther Burrell.
12. Jamie Roberts: 4.5
The Welsh wrecking ball was caged by a staunch English defence. He did not bully his way over the gain line as he usually does and his only promising burst came after he latched onto Rhys Webb’s offload. Butchered Wales’ best attacking opportunity of the second half when he clumsily kicked the ball away in the 50th minute.
11. George North: 6
He was kept relatively quiet until the latter stages of the second half. North always finds his stride against tired legs and Sunday proved no different. He carved through the English defence with pace and power on several occasions and made a nuisance of himself at the breakdown securing two turnovers. Still, he should have put Dan Lydiate in for a first-half try but he opted to kick instead.
10. Rhys Priestland: 3
It was another poor performance from the one-dimensional Welshman. Teams are now fully aware that they can kick loosely in behind the Welsh line without fear of retribution as Priestland continuously sweeps behind and hacks it back. He kicked aimlessly into the hands of the English back three and was stifled by the blistering line speed of the white wall. Made several costly errors.
9. Rhys Webb: 5.5
Distributed quickly and cleanly despite a lack of front foot ball and tested the English fringe defence with some swift snipes. Put Jamie Roberts through with a brilliant offload in the 27th minute. Continues to show much more urgency and imagination than his predecessor.
1. Gethin Jenkins: 3
The Welshman’s 104th cap will be one he will want to forget. Jenkins was decimated by Dave Wilson in the scrum, and Romain Poite finally lost patience with the veteran’s blatant boring in and banished him to the bin in the 53rd minute.
2. Richard Hibbard: 4
He will be lucky to retain his place for the Scotland fixture. Hibbard did not cross the gain line once and threw poorly. His overthrow in the 32nd minute gifted the hosts the field position that led to the Luther Burrell’s try. He struggled in the scrum.
3. Adam Jones: 4
Did not get his hands on the ball once and after dismantling him in Cardiff last year, Jones was outdone by Joe Marler this time round, which is more evidence of the Welshman’s inability to adapt to the new set piece procedures. No longer fit enough to compete at Test level, he was unable to live with the high tempo of the match.
4. Jake Ball: 7.5
English-born Ball continues to thrive in the international arena. Winning just his third cap, the lock defended with vicious intent and made 13 forceful tackles. He proved dynamic and dependable in an otherwise shaky Welsh lineout.
5. Alun Wyn Jones: 6
He ran himself into the ground, made 14 tackles in a typically vigorous defensive display and carried with purpose but he was unable to get a look in at the break down. Did plenty of grunt work but Wales’ second-choice skipper could not exert the influence he usually does on occasions such as these.
6. Dan Lydiate: 6.5
Once again, Lydiate topped the Welsh tackle count with 15. He axed the English oak trees with gusto which brought his skipper into play on the deck.
7. Sam Warburton: 7
While certain Welsh political representatives questioned Warburton’s patriotism, no Welsh constituent can justly question their captain’s commitment to the cause. Warbuton was influential, hammering anything in a white shirt and making a nuisance of himself at the breakdown.
8. Taulupe Faletau: 6.5
While his fellow forwards were stopped in their tracks, Faletau never took a backwards step. The Welshman was gallant with ball in hand, his athletic advances causing the English plenty of problems and he confronted them with aggression and power in defence. But he loses points for turning his back on Danny Care as the scrum half walked over for the first score.
Mike Philips was introduced with nearly half an hour left but had little influence on the game and looked ponderous at the back of the breakdown. Ken Owens deserves to start next week, after providing the Welsh lineout with some much-needed stability. Paul James should have been introduced earlier, scrummaging well, after his predecessor was twisted into submission.
Justin Tipuric did nothing but set up a brilliant English counter attack when he fumbled the ball shortly after being introduced. Dan Biggar played much flatter than Preistland, but still struggled to orchestrate any inroads into English territory. Rhodri Jones also proved more competent in the scrum than his forerunner.
By Nathan Hyde (@NathanHyde2)
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images