ENGLAND KEPT their Six Nations Grand Slam bid on track with a 17-9 win over France at Twickenham. They recovered from a poor first half, where they tried to force the game and allowed France to turn them over several times, to score through Ben Foden straight after the break and close out the game.
It was a match for the purists, dominated by the forward contest, but who stood out and who should be stood down? See if you agree with the Rugby World Ratings…
Ben Foden 68
Keen to attack from deep, stood up defensively at the back and took try well.
Chris Ashton 66
Unlucky to have one try disallowed and cut a lovely line to nearly put Cueto over.
Mike Tindall (captain) 73
One of best days for a while. Attacked gain-line well – but some passes lacked sympathy.
Shontayne Hape 57
Stood his ground in defence but caught out when trying to run ball from his own 22.
Mark Cueto 72
Eager to get involved with ball in hand and put in several important tackles.
Toby Flood 64
Kicked well and good distribution on gain-line bar a couple of dodgy passes.
Ben Youngs 59
Not at his best. Seemed unsure of himself and tried to force things too often.
Andrew Sheridan 60
Helped England to get two early penalties at scrum but went off injured after 23 minutes.
Dylan Hartley 76
An all-action performance – great runs in the loose, straightening England’s attack.
Dan Cole 72
The substance to Hartley’s style – solid at close quarters and held his own in the scrum.
Louis Deacon 67
Enjoyed a rare run down the wing, but generally a workmanlike effort in the tight.
Tom Palmer 75
Involved everywhere. Excelled in lineout, tackled tirelessly and his charge down led to try.
Tom Wood 74
Perhaps outplayed at breakdown in first half but more than made up for it in the second.
James Haskell 67
Gave away silly penalty early on but quick-thinking at times to pounce on loose ball.
Nick Easter 63
Poor first half with couple of stupid penalties and knock-ons. Improved after break.
Alex Cobisiero was shaky in scrum at first but got better as game went on while Jonny Wilkinson kicked important penalty and played good territorial game.
Clement Poitrenaud 51
Flaky as ever. Wanted to attack but threw ball into touch and knocked on under high ball too.
Yoann Huget 53
Looked dangerous on couple of occasions but couple of silly errors too.
Aurelien Rougerie 60
Couldn’t take ball to score in second half but something of a brick wall in defence.
Yannick Jauzion 64
On the ball a lot, particularly in first half, and focal point for French attack.
Vincent Clerc 62
Couple of key contributions in defence but didn’t get many chances with ball.
Francois Trinh-Duc 49
Started well but his game deteriorated as match went on with bizarre drop-goal attempt.
Dimitri Yachvili 71
A good general but lacks the spark of Morgan Parra. Punished England errors with boot.
Thomas Domingo 74
A forward contest for the prop to relish in the tight exchanges.
William Servat 72
Performed well in the set-piece – solid at scrum and with his throwing in.
Nicolas Mas 70
Seemed to have better of Corbisiero early on but not always on right side of referee.
Julien Pierre 72
Another workhorse in the second row – tirelessly went from set-piece to breakdown.
Lionel Nallet 73
A few bursts in midfield and good work at the lineout too.
Thierry Dusautoir (captain) 78
As ever the leader of France’s defensive effort and offered himself as a runner too.
Imanol Harinordoquy 79
Took head knock early on but wouldn’t have known from the effort he put in throughout.
Sebastien Chabal 53
Made a few errors and none of his trademark runs – off the pace.
France used their whole bench but that probably disrupted their game more with few unforced errors creeping in from back-line replacements.
0 – Should never play for this team again
10 – Shocker – lucky to get picked again this season
20 – Out of his depth
30 – Did one or two things right – must improve
40 – Willing but woeful
50 – Minimum requirement for a professional – average
60 – Solid effort and a decent performance
70 – Made key contributions and guaranteed his place for next time
80 – Superb – should give himself a pat on the back
90 – A personal best – his greatest game ever
100 – Faultless – no one could play a better game in this positionLike Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.
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