15. Mike Brown: 7
Produced a brilliant finish for his first try in international rugby, but was forced to play most of the game on the wing where he is less effective than at fullback. Still managed to carry well and make 66 metres.
14. Jack Nowell: 6
Knocked on with his first touch of international rugby and there were a few other errors that smacked of inexperience, but there was also plenty of good from the Exeter winger. Worked hard to get himself in the game and made a couple of encouraging carries. Errors to be ironed out, but plenty more to come also.
13. Luther Burrell: 7
Was largely anonymous in the first half before roaring into everyone’s consciousness with a brilliant support line to score the try that propelled England into the lead. With his debut out of the way expect him to be more conspicuous next week.
12. Billy Twelvetrees: 5
Not a great afternoon for Twelvetrees. Threw a couple of distinctly average passes for a man that is supposed to be a distributor and failed to make any inroads with his carrying. Partnership with Burrell needs time to gel.
11. Jonny May: 5
Went off after eight minutes but still managed to look lively with a couple of darting runs. If he can remain fit he’s still a great option for England in the future.
10. Owen Farrell: 8
Farrell’s best performance in an England shirt bar none. Attacked the gainline well, and his gorgeous delayed pass to Vunipola in the build-up to Burrell’s try was reminiscent of Nonu’s over the summer against Argentina. There have been flashes in the pan like this before from Farrell – he must back this up next weekend in Scotland.
9. Danny Care: 7.5
Did what he was picked to do – injected tempo into England’s attack. His quick tap was directly responsible for Brown’s try that got England back into the match at the end of the first half. Would have had a much higher score were it not for a few wayward box kicks. Sort that side of his game out and Care can be world class.
1. Joe Marler: 7.5
Plenty of the bullocking runs in the loose that he made his name for, while he also dealt well with Nicolas Mas in the scrums. Set piece was noticeably weaker after he went off.
2. Dylan Hartley: 7
Like Marler, Hartley’s substitution crucially weakened the set piece. Didn’t carry to as great effect as the loosehead prop but has now edged ahead of Youngs as the bona fide first choice at hooker.
3. Dan Cole: 7
After being dominated by Domingo in the first couple of scrums it seemed as though it would be a long old afternoon for Cole. To his credit he rallied superbly to gain at least parity, and lasted the full 80 minutes – no mean feat for a prop. Also carried much more than usual.
4. Joe Launchbury: 7.5
More understated excellence from the baby-faced Launchbury, who was everywhere once again. Incredible to think that he is still just 22 years old.
5. Courtney Lawes: 8
The Lawes/Launchbury axis is developing beautifully, and the Northampton man put in another solid shift in Paris. Oozed physicality as England fought back into the match.
6. Tom Wood: 7
Abrasive as ever, Wood may have been outplayed by the world class Nyanga but that does not mean he did not play an important part in bringing England back into the game. England’s top tackler with 11.
7. Chris Robshaw: 6.5
Full of heart as ever, and carried well as part of a back row that took the ball to the line an astonishing 42 times. Perhaps could have offered a bit more at the breakdown but it did not impact the result.
8. Billy Vunipola: 8.5
England’s best player and Vunipola’s best performance in an England shirt. Consistently busted over the gainline, cut a brilliant line off Farrell’s shoulder in the build-up to Burrell’s try and had the presence of mind to offload to the charging centre after bouncing off several defenders. Also gave the scoring pass for Brown’s try.
Sadly, this is where it all went wrong for England. Alex Goode again looked half a yard short of pace on several occasions, and was beaten in a tiny space by Huget in the build-up to his second try. Tom Youngs and Mako Vunipola carried well in the loose but weakened the set piece catastrophically as England failed to drive home their dominance. Brad Barritt’s inclusion was somewhat baffling given that he came on for the only winger England had left on the pitch, and forced Burrell to play out of position.
Ben Morgan was the only shining light amongst the replacements, carrying with almost as much physicality as Billy Vunipola. The duel between those two in years to come should be epic.
By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images