Scotland v England: England player ratings


15. Mike Brown: 8.5
As solid as ever at the back and counter attacked with real purpose. Second try in as many games was a deserved return for the man who never seems to have a bad game.

14. Jack Nowell: 6.5
Built on last week and has that knack of popping up on the shoulder of the ball carrier, which will surely start paying try-scoring dividends at some stage. Showed some lovely footwork to set up Mike Brown for the try that secured England’s win in the second half.

13. Luther Burrell: 6.5
Another try from Burrell who picked a good line on his way to the whitewash, but the fact that no Scottish defender in the first line of defence laid a hand on him tells you more about their defensive disorganisation than anything else. Still feel like there is more to come from him.

12. Billy Twelvetrees: 7
Better from Twelvetrees, who tailored his game intelligently to the conditions – which were awful. Showed that he can make the hard yards with several powerful runs over the gainline, and there were some booming kicks as well as one beautiful pass fizzed off his right hand to put Jonny May away down the left hand touchline.

11. Jonny May: 8
After a quiet first half May burst into life in the second forty, showing off his dazzling footwork to beat seven defenders and make 92 metres with ball in hand. Certainly adds the ‘X Factor’ that has been missing from the English backline for so long.

10. Owen Farrell: 7
Missed a few kicks he would have expected to get, but the conditions underfoot made that difficult. What mattered more was the way he again took the ball to the line and committed defenders before bringing the rest of the backline into the game. Tactical kicking was also significantly better than his opposite number.

9. Danny Care: 7.5
Care is certainly taking his chance in the starting berth and put in another dangerous performance from just behind the pack. A smartly-taken drop goal early on was the icing on game in which Care’s darting kept the Scotland fringe defence honest, never more obvious than for the Burrell try.

1. Joe Marler: 7
Another solid display from Marler, who formed part of a front row that shunted the Scottish pack backwards, and there were also a couple of immensely powerful tackles.

2. Dylan Hartley: 8
In tough conditions Hartley’s lineout delivery was perfect – his partnership with Lawes in this area really is improving every game. Also carried strongly.

3. Dan Cole: 7.5
Eradicated the scrummaging issues from last weekend and is like an extra back row forward at the breakdown at times. Has more than earned a weekend off after missing just five minutes of the opening two rounds – a huge stint for a prop.

4. Joe Launchbury: 6.5
A typically industrious performance from Launchbury was somewhat overshadowed by the rest of the pack’s sterling performance, but he again didn’t put a foot wrong.

5. Courtney Lawes: 8
Behind Vunipola he was England’s most industrious ball carrier, but it was his aggression in the tackle that stood out most. He smashed Scottish runners back, never allowing them to build any momentum and, crucially, tempered his aggression with accuracy – he did not miss a tackle all game.

6. Tom Wood: 6.5
Like Launchbury, Wood had a quietly effective game without ever standing out. Probably could have done a bit more in a game that was made for his no-nonsense style of play.

7. Chris Robshaw: 7
England’s captain, as always, led by example, snaffling any loose ball on the floor and ending as their top tackler, making 12.

8. Billy Vunipola: 8
Just as in Paris last weekend, big Billy Vunipola was the most devastating ball carrier on the park. He made 58 metres from an impressive 16 carries, beating six defenders in the process – only the elusive Jonny May managed more. There was also a box office offload that Kieran Read would have been proud of. Maturing into the complete number eight.

Replacements: 5.5
The bench did not have the same debilitating effect as last weekend as Lancaster left it a lot later to bring anyone on, but the replacements did not offer a great deal of impetus when they finally did enter the fray either.

The biggest negative was Tom Youngs’ lineout throwing – his work at club level this season has been exemplary, but he just does not seem to work that effectively with Courtney Lawes for whatever reason. Mako Vunipola and Ben Morgan both carried strongly but did not really have enough time to show off their extensive talents.

The backs did little to add any dynamism or attacking intent to the game, and it has to be asked what the point of having Brad Barritt on the bench was when someone like George Ford or Anthony Watson could have benefitted from their first experience of international rugby.

By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

16 thoughts on “Scotland v England: England player ratings

  1. Can’t argue with that, add in the 13 line out takes (including steals) for Lawes makes it an exceptional allround performance. He was my MotM.

  2. Too high for Care until he can learn to box kick accurately. He continually put it too far (or not far enough!) and gave Denton time to gain some real momentum. Fortunately DD didn’t really have a supporting cast. Won’t be the same in two weeks time if Heaslip is running it back. Also thought Wood deserved a 7. He did a great deal of work around the park. Part of a backrow and pack effort that won the battle of the gainline and breakdown. Agree that there is more to come from Burrell and Nowell, but they are both very inexperienced at this level. I think that they will grow into their roles further.

  3. Tom Youngs needed to be dropped. He may be great at running around the park but his throwing is awful and could cost England points against real opposition.

    Webber or Jaime George should take his place until he can find his throwing arm.

  4. Mostly agree with the marks.

    I’d dock a point from Care for aimlessly box kicking again. I know have said this a boring amount of times, but if he keeps kicking poorly, I’ll keep pointing it out!

    I’d also add a point to Wood and Farrell. Wood was everywhere I thought, brilliant performance from him.

    Farrell is play so much flatter the last two weeks, its great to see. No he isn’t Quade Cooper, but he does offer something on the gainline, which is great. His kicking at goal is a non-issue, it was the awful playing field that affected him and it won’t be the same in Twickenham in two weeks time.

  5. Was lucky enough to be at Murrayfield (though a slightly dour match), and whilst I am pleased England won in such a comprehensive manner, we should have put at least 3 tries more past them. Also being seated on one try line meant I barely saw any of the second half, needed a telescope as it was all being played at the other end (though thats a pretty nice thing to be able to complain about-probably a first for an England fan).
    Agree with these scores, but didnt think 12T looked like a 7- probably our worst back, would give a 6. Want to see more improvement from him. Also I am really starting to like the look of our back three- Nowell has a similar style to Mike Brown (basically ignoring someone the fact someone has tackled him and just pumping the legs until they fall off) which with May’s fancy footwork and pace added more threat than we have had since the heyday of an in-form Ashton, Cueto and Foden. And we have Wade and Yarde to come back. Competition all over the park, finally!

  6. Better from 12T but Eastmond should be given a go against Ireland. Won’t happen but we know what 12T offers and it’s not enough at this level unfortunately..

    Care has ended the scrum half debate. Watched Youngs on Friday and he’s seriously lacking confidence at the moment, never really looking to break. Hopefully he can get back in the squad but for now Lancaster is right to leave him out.

    Wood isn’t playing great at the moment. Perhaps a return to HQ might change that.

    Lastly – George Ford has to be on the bench. Brilliant against the Falcons on Saturday. I’d swap Goode and Barritt for Watson and Ford.

    BTW not a Bath supporter :)

  7. I don’t like to be negative, but can’t help thinking an 8 for Jonny May is a little high. I’m thinking a lot of those metres made, and defenders beaten were when he was running laterally across the pitch. Admittedly he did find a hole (or two), but as you pointed out for Burrell’s score, that is more to do with Scotland’s serious defensive issues.
    Also thought Farrell could have been scored a little higher. Not only was his attacking play better, but his work rate at the breakdown and in the tackle areas was excellent. I think to score him down for his place kicking is a little harsh considering the state of the pitch.

    I like the partnership of Care and Farrell. Their play compliments each other, and Care’s kicking has improved. He will need to be really on his game for the Ireland match though because O’Mahony will be all over him like a rash.

  8. i disagree about May – I thought he looked dangerous almost every time he touched the ball. Unlike previous England wingers he looks for gaps and mis-matches rather than contact – and has the speed to take advantage of them.

    Really pleased with the way him and Nowell have adjusted to the international game – with Yarde and Wade yet to come back and Ashton hopefully working on his tackling at Sarries, England are looking better and better in the wings

    Agree about Farrell – should be a point higher.

  9. Solid ratings. Think Burrell and Nowell deserved maybe a little more though. I think I read a comment on another article here saying Ashton beat two defenders for England during the entirety of 2013, Nowell just matched that stat in one assist. Had Ashton played, Brown’s try wouldn’t have happened.
    As for Burrell, two tries (nearly three) in his first two caps played out of position. That’s an amazing start to international rugby, the support lines he runs are so hard to defend against it makes him a guaranteed metre-maker if he is given the right pass. I’d like to see him create more opportunities from bugger all if we are to play him in the Tuilagi mould but I still think he deserves more than 6.5.
    Farrell is still playing his best rugby for England, Danny Care seems to be rubbing off on him in a very positive way. I find it hard to believe that Guscott criticised him for the attempted “pass out the back” run down the blindside. OK it didn’t go to hand but if Nowell had shadowed him to take the pass, we’d and be applauding him right now.

    Anything to say about the pack has already been said ten times over. Vunipola was immense and has a rapidly growing arsenal of impressive skills. Just 21 and already one of our best players, massive future ahead of him. Meanwhile Hartley and Lawes continue to operate the same finely tuned lineout as brilliantly as ever which Youngs once again had no trouble in successfully sabotaging.

    I’d make 3 changes for Ireland if I were Lancaster, all on the bench. Webber/George for Youngs, Ford for Barritt and Watson/Eastmond for Goode. The latter two incumbents once again showed they offer nothing as substitutions. And considering Healy targeted Farrell last year and is in the mood to throw cheap shots, real FH coverage is a must.
    Btw, I wonder how well disguised Healy thought his punch at Warburton was.
    “I’ll just bind to your captain’s face as opposed to Adam’s shirt, and I’ll use my fist as well whilst I’m at it…”

    1. I’m not advocating Ashton’s inclusion in the team, but Farrell has made clean breaks in both games so far and the wingers have not been in support. That is without doubt the best part of Ashton’s game, and I reckon he would have scored on both occasions.

      Obviously he wouldn’t have made the 14 tackles that Nowell did in the France game, but I would like to see May and Nowell attempting to track in a similar style, particularly if Farrell making clean breaks is going to become a regular thing.

      1. Not denying that you have a decent point, but would just like to point out that Nowell would have been on the end of Farrell’s break vs Scotland but was taken out illegally off the ball… if he hadn’t been taken, then he may well have scored a try – Burrell almost did and he was a few seconds later.

        1. Didn’t notice that at the time, but if he’s being taken out off the ball in a strange way that’s a good thing as defences clearly think he is a threat. Both Nowell and May do seem to be looking for work and getting their hands on the ball a lot, and I hope they can do enough throughout the rest of the tournament that it won’t be a foregone conclusion to chuck Yarde and Wade straight in when fit.

      2. It is also a very strong part of Wade’s game, and once he is fit deserves another shot in the 14 shirt. He is so quick off the mark, and can get through the tightest spaces. Nowell has undoubtably upped the defensive effort on the right wing though, and he deserves the plaudits for that. Ireland and Wales may have more trouble now trying to run down that wing.

        Anyone know when Tuilagi is going to be fit?

  10. What really impressed me about Burrell were the lines he was running off Farrell’s shoulder. He came in at twelve a handful of times to play those lines and if it weren’t for the two knock ons, he had clean breaks in front of him. In dryer conditions, I’m not sure those errors would have been made.
    It’s nice to see Twelvetrees and Burrell playing that swap when the opportunity arises, because if Farrell continues to hit the gain line like he has in the past couple of matches, that could be a real threat in attack.

  11. Ahaa, its pleasant conversation regarding this article here at this webpage, I have read all
    that, so now me also commenting at this place.

Comments are closed.