RBS Six Nations 2012: England Player Ratings v Ireland

15. Ben Foden – 7

One excellent break from the new Dad stood out. Solid if not spectacular.

14. Chris Ashton – 6

Better, but finishing this year’s championship without a try will sting. Needs to re-find his form, if Northampton give him a game.

13. Manu Tuilagi – 6

Not poor but also not his greatest performance. A few handling errors and failed to burst through the opposition defence as we saw him do so against France.

12. Brad Barritt – 7

Unsung hero. Carried well, made his tackles. Has not had a bad game all tournament.

11. David Stettle – 6

Not really a game for wingers, but he worked hard and made one important tackle on Keith Earls.

10. Owen Farrell – 7

Good kickers win Tests and 20 points is not to be frowned at. Still waiting to see him cut loose.

9. Lee Dickson – 5

A tough afternoon. Distribution was slow, perhaps under instruction.

1. Alex Corbisiero – 8

Magnificent. Turned over both Mike Ross and Tom Court comfortably. A Lions spot next year looks reasonable.

2. Dylan Hartley – 7

Effective in the loose with some big defence, his work in the front row paid dividends.

3. Dan Cole – 8

His development has perhaps gone unnoticed but it has been rapid. Great power.

4. Mouritz Botha – 6

No faulting his work rate. Could have perhaps given more, his substitution a surprise.

5. Goeff Parling – 6

Run an efficient lineout, but slipped up a few times in the loose.

6. Tom Croft – 7

Oh dear. Spilling a try scoring pass nearly ruined the good work from Paris, but the confidence from that victory was present.

7. Chris Robshaw – 7

Has left everything on the pitch this tournament, not always getting the acclaim he’s deserved. A natural leader, if not a natural openside.

8. Ben Morgan – 8

What a find he has proved to be. Great power once again.


No impact was greater than that of Ben Youngs, whose marshalling of England’s dominant pack paid dividends. His try seemed to exorcise some ghosts. Tom Palmer was effective in the lineout.

by Ben Coles

16 thoughts on “RBS Six Nations 2012: England Player Ratings v Ireland

  1. Can’t argue with the scores, although would add save for the French match, Ashton has showed more maturity in the tournament and had to do some of the work that Mark Cueto did in covering when Ben Foden went forward, which hasn’t helped his try ratio but demonstrated his value to the team.

    The front row deserves massive praise – not since England did a job on the Aussie scrum has a scrum been so destroyed.

    1. Ashton shown maturity? I haven’t seen any. He’s displayed petulance and a lack of commitment in spades. He’s still amazed that Saints won’t pick him after he messed them about over his contract.

  2. Maybe a point too generous for the midfield. Neither made any real yardage (but didn’t have any ball to do so with) 3 and 2 tackles for Barritt and Tuilagi respectively isn’t really a notable defensive contribution either.

    Morgan was a worthy MotM winner for me, most excited I’ve been over an English forward for a while, if 0.5s are allowed for Lydiate I would give Morgan an 8.5. It was almost like he had improved through playing against Harinordoquy last week as the way he was always perfectly postioned to gather the ball reminded me of the French great. The best performance by a number 8 this tournamount.

    The good and the bad from Croft, more evident at the breakdown winning 2 turnovers which was great to see, some great lineout leaps and a stonking break. I do however have a big issue with a 6 passing the ball only 3 times in the entire duration of the championship (check the ESPN stats if you doubt this). If you pass the ball once per 133 minutes of rugby maybe this explains why you completely butcher your 4th attempted pass of the tournamount.

    Farrell gets a 9 for goalkicking and a 5 for the rest of the game, so I can’t argue with it being averaged out as a 7.

  3. Agree heartily with the above – great to see such a massive performance by Corbisiero and Cole against the Irish front row which put them to the sword last year. The sight of the English front row driving through the Irish back row (still square I might add!) as the props and locks fell under their feet was a deeply satisfying sight. That sort of thing has such a massive effect on the rest of the team, and is one of the reasons why the scrum remains pivotal, and what makes Rugby Union the finest game in the world.

    Think I almost pulled all my hair out when Tom Croft dropped the ball with an undefended try line beckoning – happens to the best of us I suppose. Tough afternoon for Dickson, but I think he’s made enough of an impact this tournament to force his way into the England reckoning for good now – one bad half of rugby (in atrocious conditions) does not a bad scrum half make.

    I cannot wait to see Ben Morgan continue to develop, and I think that Gloucester is the right place for him to do it – his fitness will improve as he’ll be playing against proper opposition week in week out, as opposed to the laughable second strings that most of the Rabo teams put out when they’re not playing in the Heineken Cup. Weekly high stakes rugby will sharpen his competitive edge and make him into an absolute world-beater (that can play 80 mins!)

    1. A bit harsh on the celtic league? You can hardly claim the prem churns out more talent lately.

      1. Yeah, a lazy cliche that it’s all 2nd string teams. CL teams outdid English teams in head to heads and qualification this year. Wales won the slam with a team full of CL players. Those guys don’t learn to play like only playing a few “proper” games a year.

  4. I thought Morgan had a great game. But did anyone else think MOTM should have gone to a front rower considering that was where we won the game…

    1. Most influential performances were certainly in the front row, when Ross was on we had an edge but not total dominance and it still a contest. So I think having no tighthead replacement was the reason for the dominance rather than our boys becoming the second coming of Os Du Randt. Award for most influential performance to the props, but award for best player was Morgan for me.

  5. A fair reflection of the England team performance. Some stand out performances from Morgan, Corbisiero and Cole to finish off a good Six Nations. Lancaster is undoubtedly the best man to take this team forward. And I’m sure he would be the first to admit they need an experienced attack coach to make the most out of the potential of the team. It’s a young team, where all of these players could learn and improve over time.

  6. On a sideline, does anyone else think Matt O’Connor has made himself look silly by saying that Flood should be playing for England, starting every game because of his creativity, but then Leicester have started with George Ford (played much better than Flood) for the last two games.
    Surely if they are so keen to get Flood back into the England team, he needs to be playing for Leicester first. If he’s sitting on the bench he’s not going to get selected for England.
    Personally I think by next years Six nations Ford will probably be playing 10 for England anyway.

    1. To be fair on Tiggs, I think they would have started Flood in premiership games, but the last two were LV cup and Cockerill had stated his intention to use it to give his young players (e.g. Ford) some starts for the club. I’m not sure they were expecting Ford to make such an impact! Much like Owen Farrell when he was lifted from their academy to fill the crisis gap at 10 last season, and then found himself winning the premiership final in his first full season of first team rugby!

      1. Well I did think that might be the reason, but when I saw the rest of their matchday squad, it didn’t seem to be the case.

  7. I personally think that Corbisiero and Cole have finally been the stand-out props in this year’s tournament. Cole’s performance against Healy set the seal on a series of performances that it is hard to believe have come from the same player as was so poor in New Zealand.

    Corbisiero has been fantastic too.

    1. Totally agree. If I was picking a Lions squad right now, I think Cole would be in ahead of Adam Jones. He has got better with every game in this tournament.

      1. what was good this 6N was looking at the amount of England players who actually improved as the tournament went on.

  8. Glad that Hartley’s “biting hasn’t been considered. He’s grown and grown over the tournament. All the front row should have been 9’s – when did we last see such total destruction of an international front row?
    As for the biting, what was Ferris doing with his fingers in Hartley’s mouth? Why is he not being cited for gouging/mouth pulling?

Comments are closed.