Six Nations 2017: England Player Ratings Versus Wales

Courtney Lawes

England have surely used up all their good luck and fortune with that narrow escape. A brilliantly physical and enthralling test match, here is how the England players rated.

1 Joe Marler – 7
A much-improved performance by Marler, who has responded well to the impending return of Mako Vunipola. Tackled well, carried more and solid at the scrum.

2 Dylan Hartley – 5
Replaced even earlier this week on 46 minutes and still looks way short of his best. It’s a tough call for Italy whether Jamie George should start, or if the benefit of more game time will help Hartley get back to form.

3 Dan Cole – 6
Another solid effort and won a vital scrum against the head when Wales opted to pack down from a penalty. Still needs to offer more in the rest of his game.

4 Joe Launchbury – 8.5
A huge performance from the Wasps man. Gave England the engine they have been missing with Chris Robshaw’s injury, putting in 19 tackles. Deservedly named man-of-the-match.

5 Courtney Lawes – 8
Colossal alongside his second row partner, Lawes put in some of the more eye-catching bits to compliment Launchbury’s steady industry. Ran him close for the match honours. Still carries a little high.

6 Maro Itoje – 7
Better by Itoje than last week, although the Welsh back-row trio generally had the upper hand. Still doesn’t look fully comfortable in the 6 shirt (he weirdly packed down at lock in some of the scrums). Rucked very well and was a nuisance at the breakdown.

7 Jack Clifford – 5
A very quiet first Six Nations start for Clifford. Brought in to take some of the carrying workload from Hughes he didn’t really manage to make an impression. Stripped of the ball in contact once and didn’t dominate in the tackle. Replaced on 48 minutes.

8 Nathan Hughes – 6
Still looks like he is finding his feet at international level. Got through a huge amount of work (22 carries) and beat three defenders, but was all too often stopped at source by some ferocious Welsh tackling.

9 Ben Youngs – 6
A mixed bag from Youngs. Did well to wriggle under Alex Cuthbert and score his try and got away with being offside to snuff out a Welsh attack. His delivery was still somewhere short of its best, however, and his kicking was uncharacteristically erratic. Threw the intercept to Biggar which thankfully didn’t cost them the game.

10 George Ford – 7
Some brilliant delayed weighted passes were wonderful to behold, but also showed the odd sloppy pass as well. Fielded Davies’ late clearance kick and had the vision to set up the try.

11 Elliot Daly – 8
Scored the decisive try – Alex Cuthbert foolishly showed him an outside shoulder and Daly made it count. Always looked threatening whenever he had ball in hand. A missed long-range penalty and a hospital pass to Brown slight blots.

12 Owen Farrell – 8
Ran some great lines, kicked well and took a huge hit from Ross Moriarty in his stride. His running game is definitely improving. May have been at fault for Liam Williams try, although it was a beautiful line picked by the Welsh winger.

13 Jonathan Joseph – 6
Joseph is still to really come alive this tournament. Seemed to threaten the Welsh backline with his dancing feet but never really cut loose. One wayward pass into touch was poor. Could make way for Te’o next match.

14 Jack Nowell – 7
Justified his place over Jonny May with some bristling carries although was never really given any space to exploit. Some brilliant defence and a very important tackle on Biggar.

15 Mike Brown – 6
Not Brown’s best game in an England shirt, a few uncharacteristic errors crept in – a kick out on the full being the most unforgiveable. Did suck in three defenders with a powerful carry just before Youngs’ try however. Could lose spot to Daly for the Italy game is Jones opts to experiment.

Replacements – 8
Once again the ‘finishers’ showed their worth and helped England steal the game at the death. The standouts were again Ben Te’o, Danny Care, Jamie George and James Haskell – all contributing something the player they replaced was missing and all have potentially earned a start against Italy. England’s bench is currently the difference between them and other teams.

Who impressed you most in this game?

By Henry Ker

12 thoughts on “Six Nations 2017: England Player Ratings Versus Wales

  1. I think Sincker deserves a mention amongst the subs. His attempted charge down forced Davies to kick in field and allow the winning try. I think he could start vs Italy.

    1. I thought Sinkler had a great 10 mins on the field as well. I watched the Wales England game again focusing on Brown, his game was huge. He is worth an extra forward on the pitch. I know he does not pass much but his work rate is massive. Farrell is also the same, they both do the work of 2 men.

  2. Launchbury, Daly and Farrell were the stand out performers for me. Hughes carried well, but maybe a little upright to make good yards.

    Launchbury seemed to be everywhere and deserved the man of the match. Daly was excellent with ball in hand, but also chasing back and being effective in defence. His slide to kick the ball into touch and the finish for that try were class. I definitely think he could do a great job from 15. He has all the attributes to be a world class 15 if he’s happy playing there.

    Farrell controlled the ball excellently and was his usual aggressive self in defence. His recent kicking form is a bit off by his standards but for me he should be given the captaincy for the Italy game and put Hartley on the bench. Hartley can still be the team captain, but Farrell could be the matchday captain. Clubs do it all the time when their captain is injured etc.

    1. I would have Farrell as the Lions captain. World class and i would not swap him for an All Black. I could not stand him when he first started.

    1. He is not first choice at his club Robbo. Saints have the best scrum stats in the Premiership and are quite happy with Haywood who was their player of the year last year. Not good enough for his club behind the sixth or seventh best English hooker, but good enough for England? Not in my book. Time to move on.

  3. Looking at the two sets of player scores England must have been played off the park seeing as their scores are 15% lower.
    Funny because I remember seeing an evenly matched game which shifted back and forth ending with an England win in the final 10 minutes

    1. Leon totally agree! Front rows were pretty much on parity, Eng had the edge in the row, Wales in the back row and probably the half backs then Eng probably edging it in the rest of the back line.

      One interesting stat from the competition so far is that Eng have conceded the most turnovers of any team! That needs addressing pronto!

    2. Hi Leon, sorry two different people wrote the player scores so looks like there was some disparity between our views of the performances!

      For me there was also an element that – despite it being a great, physical test match – the English team still isn’t performing to the levels they reached in 2016, while the Welsh were better than they had been in the Autumn series.

      1. You have to score them based on their actual performance not how well they did compared to expectation. The England scores are a bit low but the Wales scores are all ridiculously high
        I know its difficult to co-ordinate but Hutch needs to moderate them a bit once he has both sets.

  4. Considering England won I’ve found some of the post-match coverage of the game really odd.

    England completely bossed the first 20, with Ford in particular really impressive during this period. Wales then dominated until half time and for the first 15 minutes of the second half. The game then evened out a little until England took control for the last 15 minutes.

    Yet all I keep hearing is Wales and Biggar bossed the game? All I can think is that the standards England are held to now are so much higher.

    On the playing front. I thought Farrell elevated himself to another level, up there with any player in world rugby. Lions captain maybe? He’s going to be the best player going on tour as well as our kicker so will it be too much?

    Obviously Launchbury and Lawes were really good, as was Daly and Hughes I thought. Sinkler also made a massive impact off the bench. A great turnover at the end and I think he was also the one chasing Davies down on that kick?

    1. Spot on thats how i saw the game. Sinkler was great in that 10 mins at end. Brown also had a huge game but goes unnoticed because he does not pass often. He does the work of a forward half the time while still being huge in defence as a full back. Watch the game again and you will see what i mean.

Comments are closed.