Ireland v England 6 Nations 2013: England player ratings


15. Alex Goode: 7
Much better from Goode. Assured under the high ball and composed in his general play in what were horrific conditions for the backs.

14. Chris Ashton: 4
How has he survived this long without being able to tackle? Was shocking in defense, although thankfully the conditions dictated his missed tackles didn’t lead to anything. Anonymous in attack.

13. Brad Barritt: 6
More sterling defensive work from Barritt, in a game made for him. It was tight, all about making the hard yards and shackling the opposition on the gain-line – both of which he did well.

12. Billy Twelvetrees: 6
Not quite the fireworks of last week but a solid follow-up performance from the man known as 36. A couple of solid runs and a big kick were his only real contributions.

11. Mike Brown: 6
Once again top of the metres-made stats, Brown doesn’t tend to do anything that takes the breath away, but rather the basics very well. On a day like that in Dublin, it was exactly what England needed from him.

10. Owen Farrell: 8
The man with ice in his veins. Nerveless from the tee and boisterous in defence, Farrell is growing into a fly-half of real quality. In better conditions he will still have to prove himself in attack, but in the wet his game management was again sublime.

9. Ben Youngs: 8
Like Farrell, backed up superb Scotland performance with another here. Sniping runs kept the Irish defence honest around the fringes, and his box-kicking was well-directed.

1. Joe Marler: 7
Didn’t dominate the Irish scrum the way Corbisiero did last year, but then it was a much-improved Irish unit this time around. More obvious in the loose this week, Marler relished the close nature of the encounter.

2. Tom Youngs: 5
In tough conditions, the line-out somewhat fell apart in the second half. Not entirely to blame, but must take the brunt of it. To his credit, he is still fantastically busy in the loose.

3. Dan Cole: 7
How often is he the first man to the breakdown? Doesn’t always win the ball but slows it down at least. Consistently one of England’s most important performers.

4. Geoff Parling: 6
Made 10 tackles, an impressive figure for a lock forward, but along with Tom Youngs must take some blame for line-out malfunctions in the second half. Could have been more obvious in the loose.

5. Joe Launchbury: 6
A quiet game from the young Wasps lock, which is disappointing. Conditions meant the ball had to be kept tighter, and we didn’t really see Launchbury making the hard yards at close quarters. Still bags to come from him, though.

6. James Haskell: 7
A cynical yellow card was the only blemish on an otherwise assured performance from Haskell. Some huge hits and strong carries defined a good game for the Wasps-man.

7. Chris Robshaw: 9
Another titanic performance from the England captain, who seems to have finally grown into that role. Topped the tackle charts with 14 and also made more ball-carries than any other forward. Superb in leading an England team to a first Six Nations win in Dublin for 10 years.

8. Tom Wood: 7
Adapted to the no.8 role well in Ben Morgan’s absence, and his versatility will be useful when considering, say, summer touring parties… More good breakdown work allied with strong tackling meant this was another performance typical of Wood.

Courtney Lawes made a huge physical impact but seemed to get slightly carried away and ended up leaving the pitch in a daze. Manu Tuilagi was more obvious in 35 minutes than most of the other backs were for the whole game, but couldn’t quite finish a move that would have put the game to bed. Mako Vunipola made a few strong carries but didn’t do anything more than Marler had.

By Jamie Hosie

Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43

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43 comments on “Ireland v England 6 Nations 2013: England player ratings

  1. I remain amazed that there are still some comments on here about the lack of pace in the back 3. Apologies if i sound like a bust record but Brown has oodles of pace, and he definitely showed it yesterday when chasing a couple of kicks. Goode, not so much pace, but he was superb yesterday. I, too, like Foden but at the moment I don’t see him improving the starting XV.

    Most impressive for me yesterday was Lancasters performance; bringing on Lawes and Tuilagi after just 7 minutes of the second half, when Ireland were taking control of the game, leaving Care and Flood on the bench, and dragging Lawes back off even when he seemed (from the TV) to have recovered from his “bump”.

    Incidentally, did anyone note that he has tweeted today, an apology to everyone (on Twitter) for setting such a bad example in his tackle technique. Good man.

  2. I think Ashton deserves more than a 4. The pressure he put on Kearney led to a crucial penalty and the lineout that almost led to a Tuilagi try. I also think Goode deserves an 8. He barely faltered under the massive pressure and had excellent handling given the appalling conditions.

  3. Too harsh on Ashton I thought. Brown, Barritt, and Parling deserved one more and Haskell one or two less. I was beginning to be converted again by Haskell but I’m afraid he showed his true colours again.

  4. I was apprehensive when I saw the weather – remembering many occasions over the last fifty years when the Micks had more than the luck of the Irish! However, a win’s a win – and as long as we beat the best team on the planet (since an Englishman scored the winning try for them against the French last Saturday)I don’t care!! (I have a half-Taff brother, incidentally(!))

  5. When is Varndell going to get a chance? Why does Ashton keep getting the nod over him? Another quick try again against Quins and some solid tackling, he isn’t even making the squad. Mystifying!

    • About 8 years ago and again about 5 years ago. Defensive liability. I did always try to stick up for him, but he was just never up to it at that level. He tried to play the 7s game but he just repeatedly got caught out. Even at Leicester he was struggling in that department and I don’t see him doing any better at Wasps.

      It’s all very well scoring a try, but if you concede 5 on the way it’s not good economy. For the same reason I don’t see Wade making the senior side any time soon. Ashton’s game is usually his tackling, though he had a poor one in Dublin, I wouldn’t exactly be calling for someone I thought was poorer in that department.

  6. Have to say I think Ashton needs to be replaced. Varndel in? Ashton should feel it a kick up the arse to sort his all round game out and fight for a return. In general though it feels great to be an England supporter , long may it last. 2015 Farrell in the pocket?

    • I just don’t think Varndell has proven that his defence is that good. Not just his defence but his propensity to run away from support and lose the ball. Ashton has had 1 bad game, you don’t get rid of him and replace him with an unknown quantity based on that. If you’re going to replace him, you have to replace him with someone who is actually going well with a complete game which Varndell ain’t. Tom Biggs, Johnny May and even Charlie Sharples are threatening but also that bit smarter than Varndell and I wouldn’t mind seeing them get a run out, but at this stage I’d be more interested in sorting out the wing that doesn’t have a winger on it.

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