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