1. Andrew Sheridan 6
Lots of puzzled looks from Andrew Sheridan due to questionable decisions do not deter from the fact that, on occasions, he didn’t play to the whistle at scrum time in the first half. He tightened up in the second but only after an ageing Argentinian front row had tired slightly. He should have been better.
2. Steve Thompson 7
A solid display from the London Wasps man. He managed to get over the gain line a couple of times and again showed he is still capable of leading from the front. However, he is one of the pack leaders and should have used his authority to settle the game more.
3. Dan Cole 4
I was sure that Martin Johnson had moved Dan Cole into the centres the amount of times the supposed prop was found there. One of his worst games in an England shirt and although he put up a fight in the scrum that was pretty much where it started and ended.
4. Louis Deacon 6
Performed favourably in the line out and tried his best to get the work done at the break down. However, at times he seemed lethargic and almost dragged his own performance down as a result of the rest of the team’s performance. He never really took the game by the scruff of its neck.
5. Courtney Lawes 5
All the physicality Courtney Lawes brings to the game seemed as if it didn’t count for much today. He rarely crossed the gain line when carrying and, in all honesty, was a hazard and very reckless, with the double knee to Ledesma’s head just one example. Needs work to control the frenzy.
6. Tom Croft 6
Performed admirably and carried well. He didn’t set the world alight but, in fairness, who did? Did his selection no damage though.
7. James Haskell 7
James Haskell is usually the type of back row player you see waiting in the centres trying, and usually failing, to burst through a gap, and today was no different. He did help disrupt the breakdown, turning over a couple of balls in the process, and although he does seem like the type of player who has white line fever at the halfway line, he does make yards. Should be playing Number 8 in my opinion.
8. Nick Easter 5
A quiet game. Usually Easter is the type to, much like Haskell, try and power through and eat up yards near the break down but there was none of that today. Did the work in the tackle area but not much more.
9. Richard Wigglesworth 5
Wigglesworth did what was expected, and no more. He failed to ignite the back line due to the slow ball he was providing but questioned Argentina’s back three with his kicking. Unlikely to challenge Ben Youngs for a starting spot.
10. Jonny Wilkinson 2
Where to start. I’ve been watching Jonny Wilkinson play since I was 11, which is over a decade, and I cannot think of a worse performance from the man who could have challenged God for his throne in his prime. His kicking was amateur at best and left me harking back to the days of Andy Goode. Were the posts camouflaged for him? It seemed like he refused to use Tindall, Tuilagi or any of the back three effectively, failing to find gaps and sending the attack sideways. I’m still shocked he finished the game. The only reason I haven’t given him a 1 is because the 11-year old Nick Winn would never forgive me.
11. Delon Armitage 5
For all the action he was involved in, Delon Armitage was pretty poor. Why he was so far away from Ben Foden during his break is a mystery even Morse couldn’t solve, and although he tried, his running lines seemed like they were about two seconds ahead of everyone else. The amount of times he had to slow down to receive the ball was embarrassing.
12. Mike Tindall 6
As a player, Mike Tindall did the basics well and tried to bring other players into the game. He had a solid game and isn’t likely to be usurped any time soon. But his leadership was severely lacking. Midway through the first half England needed someone to take ownership of the game, lead by example and actually give them a spine. Tindall failed. His score would have been 8 but he shirked his responsibilities.
13. Manu Tuilagi 7
For someone who has made such an impression in his first two outings, this was a surprisingly timid game from Tuilagi. His performance was affected by the lack of ball he had, but when he had it, he tried something. England tried using him as a dummy runner, and the only reason it didn’t work is because it was about as convincing as the acting on Hollyoaks. Not as effective as usual but he was due a quiet game.
14. Chris Ashton 6
Chris Ashton was given one chance in space today and that was in his own half and followed a bad pass. He tried getting involved as much as possible but had little to work with.
15. Ben Foden 7
A great break in the first half saw him follow up with a ridiculously long, and hopeless pass. He seemed to panic in space and could have simply stepped inside and passed to Wilkinson. However, he came into the game often and was constantly looking for opportunities.
16. Dylan Hartley 7
The Northampton skipper made a positive impact when he came on the pitch and is clearly eager to get his starting spot back.
17. Matt Stevens 7
Stevens now needs to be considered as a starter as, not only is his scrummaging strong, but he gets around the paddock and is more than handy at the breakdown.
18. Tom Palmer 7
Brought more physicality to the game when it was needed and helped boss the ruck a little more than Deacon.
19. Tom Wood
20. Ben Youngs 8
What a return for the Leicester man! Had an immediate effect on the match with quicker ball and some opportunistic sniping around the rucks and mauls. Took his try well, perfectly fooling Argentina. God help us if he is injured.
21. Toby Flood
22. Matt Banahan
Not used (thank god).
By Nick Winn