RBS 6 Nations 2011: England Player Ratings versus Wales

Ben Foden – 6
His early grounding of Stephen Jones when on the charge just 40 seconds in immediately brought back memories of his encounter with Alastair Kellock last year. Not hugely penetrating in attack, and his first half knock-on was nearly costly. Has performed better.

Chris Ashton – 8
Performed with the grace of a world class centre forward. The best wingers are in the right place at the right time, and never miss. Ashton’s two scores were perfect examples.

Mike Tindall – 6
Solid but wholly uninspiring. Will never stop working, but really offers little else. Time for his competition to make themselves known.

Shontayne Hape – 7
Culpable for the Welsh try, but otherwise carried strongly. His defence against the big runners of Jonathan Davies and Jamie Roberts was otherwise solid. Still lots to work on.

Mark Cueto – 6
Never really shone, but with the likes of Foden and Ashton alongside him he was always likely to be possibly eclipsed. Offers so much with his kicking game and safe hands that it is impossible to drop him, though a try is surely due.

Toby Flood – 9

Man of the match, his vision for the first try was excellent. Unafraid to play right up on the game line and hit the gaps. His goal-kicking, again, was outstanding.

Ben Youngs – 7

Came off surprisingly early after a decent game. Rarely struggled to get quick ball away from the rucks, but his trademark runs were absent. Will be interesting to see where he is at following a whole Six Nation.

AndrewSheridan – 6

Efficient as always at scrum time, but failed to make the all important runs around the park he produced so often in the Autumn. Better games to come for England’s no.1

Dylan Hartley – 8

All the pre-game talk counted for nothing. Hartley threw in brilliantly, managed to nick a scrum against the head when England were down to 7 men, and most importantly, stayed on the pitch.

Dan Cole – 7

Bossed Paul James in the scrum, an improvement on his last international outing when he struggled against the Beast. Learning with every game, but an outstanding talent.

Louis Deacon – 6

Worked well in the lineout and his yellow card arguably prevented a Welsh try, but he offers very little else of note. A solid workhorse, but lacks the physicality or talent of Courtney Lawes.

Tom Palmer – 8

Dominated the lineout, his relationship with Hartley now up there with the best in the world. Great drive in the build up to the second try. Place cemented.

Tom Wood – 8

An excellent debut performance from the Northampton flanker. Great energy levels in getting around the park, reminiscent of Moody. Certainly has a future at this level.

James Haskell – 7

His discipline was at times careless but along with Wood he worked tirelessly. Persistently smashed into the rucks and carried well in the loose. Solid squad member.

Nick Easter – 6

Gritty, unflashy innings from the would-be skipper. Solid in attack and reliable in defence, his leadership skills were not seriously required.


Always a joy to see Jonny Wilkinson in an England shirt, and his penalty kick kept the visiting side ahead when the pressure was on. Simon Shaw’s impact was massive, providing three huge tackles in as many minutes. Good work all round.

by Ben Coles

11 thoughts on “RBS 6 Nations 2011: England Player Ratings versus Wales

  1. I think you are a little harsh on Foden and that he deserved at least a 7. I was impressed by how determined he was to make yards even at close-quarters, pumping the legs with defenders hanging off him.

    My complaint about someone like Strettle is that they get knocked over too easily, but Foden showed great strength in the tackle, and we know how dangerous he can be in broken play.

  2. BC – sorry to see you seem to be void of comments here (aprt from Hutch who little else to do…. :0)

    perhaps its because everyone is on the other England wales thread posted on here….

    Easter getting a 6 sums it up really…will hold jury on easter until french game.

  3. I don’t think Youngs or Haskell had good enough games to warrant a 7, and definitely think Hape had a shocker. He did the basics ok, but that should be the baseline expected from an International. He was anonymous in attack, and his mistake that led to the Welsh try was shocking – terrible defending that would’ve left the coaches exasperated through lack of discipline and positional awareness.

    Agree with you Hutch on Foden – this was a different type of game for him. We’ve all seen his flair on the break in open play, but this time we saw his power which was very impressive indeed.

  4. i agree very much with Hutch and and Justin on the Foden front. I don’t really think Sheridan did enough for an 8 to be honest as i aw him miss the odd tackle. But apart from that i agree completly with the ratings. Athough i think Jonny’s defence definatly deserved a mention.

  5. I agree with Hutch, I think that is a little harsh on Foden. The hit on Stephen Jones may have only been one small incident but it set the tone for the rest of the game. Jonn’y defence was superb and a joy to see when he came on and Dunc123, Sheridan got a 6, deservedly, not an 8.

  6. Read earlier today that Foden made more metres that any other player this weekend, so his 6 now does seem harsh. Similarly Hape made more tackles than any other England player (17). Stats don’t lie.

  7. Interesting! I guess that all other things being equal, you’d expect a full back to have high yards carried just because usually they receive the ball deep with at least ten yards to run before anyone gets close. What about that frustrating couple of minutes we spent camped on the Welsh try line trying to drive over – was it about 8 attempts? The forwards’ average yards per carry took a bit of a hit there (next time boys, let’s give it 3 or 4 tries then let the backs see if they can make something of it).
    The Hape stat is interesting though. To be fair, I thought this was one of the best defensive performances I’ve seen for many years (caveat – was unable to see most of AI’s – thank God for iplayer for the 6N) – pretty well organized as a unit, even when down to 14. Hape is certainly not afraid to take the impact and put his man down, but appears to offer little creativity in attack (ditto Tins).

  8. Ben – Considering Foden takes the ball from full back most of the time that stat isn’t too surprising, I’d estimate that full backs can take up to 10 metres a time before even encountering any opposition and Foden doesn’t kick much either, in fact I don’t think he kicked once against Wales.

    Tindall stuck out for the wrong reasons oncemore this week. His defensive abilities on the drift are hugely undermined by his lack of pace and he topped England’s missed tackle count with 3 (interestingly alongside Mark Cueto). I realise the leadership and organisation he brings to the team but I completely agree with you that the competition needs to come to the fore; if that means Matt Banahan well…caught between a rock and a hard place here..

    I agree with your rating of Haskell and I’d also like to say that’s probably the best game I’ve seen Haskell play for England in a long, long time. Perhaps its the French way of life, perhaps it’s the new found competition in the English back row..either way something seemed to galvanise him on Friday and I hope there’s more to come.

  9. Sorry – just realised I effectively repeated what Uncle Mat said re Foden and metres gained.

    And yep Hape made 17 tackles, missing only 2. Just a shame one of the 2 missed tackles was pretty crucial!

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