England won their first Six Nations game in Cardiff for eight years with a clinical performance. The victory sets them up nicely for the championship, with three straight home games next on the schedule, while Wales head to Scotland without a win in eight games. So who stood out at the Millennium Stadium? The Rugby World Index has rated every player out of 100 (see below for our key) – but do you agree with our view?
James Hook 62
A few decent runs but he’s too far from the action at 15 – and panicked near own line with risky pass.
Morgan Stoddart 68
Looked dangerous with ball in hand, took his try well and wasn’t found wanting in defence too.
Jamie Roberts 56
Little impact because he only got hold of the ball a handful of times. Did put in a few big hits.
Jonathan Davies 72
Superb with the ball in hand and set up Stoddart’s try very well. A constant threat.
Shane Williams 66
Took time to start making his trademark jinking runs but when he did caused problems.
Stephen Jones 64
Took bang to head early on but solid display, bar an uncharacteristic kick straight out. Great pass for try.
Mike Phillips 65
Happy to take England on with his own physicality and tried to give Wales go-forward.
Paul James 52
Conceded couple of penalties at scrum and conspicuous by absence in the loose.
Matthew Rees 67
Led from the front and relished the physical contest, but few wayward throws.
Craig Mitchell 51
Naive sin-binning offence but survived force of Sheridan pretty well in scrummage.
Bradley Davies 73
Wales’ best player. Tirelessly offered himself as a carrier, showed great touches and fantastic work ethic.
Alun Wyn Jones 66
Athletic in the lineout, unwavering in defence and another good carrier.
Dan Lydiate 71
Improving with every Test he plays – brilliant at the contact area and loves the big hits.
Sam Warburton 70
Scavenged well at the breakdown, defensively solid and likes to run with the ball.
Andy Powell 56
Carried often but lost ball in contact on couple of occasions and gave away stupid penalty then forced off with shoulder injury.
Ryan Jones showed glimpses of his best form after coming on at 8 in the first half and his experience got Wales out of sticky situations on their own line. Lee Byrne made some great runs but isolated himself and others had little time to make an impact.
Ben Foden 68
Finally started showing his Northampton form for England – great runs from deep.
Chris Ashton 70
Again showed what a clinical finisher he is with two tries but needs to get more involved.
Mike Tindall 64
Good under high ball but caught out defensively by Shane Williams and poor pass into touch in first half.
Shontayne Hape 55
Few good runs in first half but struggled defensively numerous times, particularly for the Wales try.
Mark Cueto 65
Ball didn’t come his way for much of the match but when he did show willingness to attack.
Toby Flood 78
A world-class kicking display, a great step for England’s first try and good vision. Deserved Man of the Match.
Ben Youngs 58
Couple of dodgy knock-ons and not as effective as in November but still brought spark to England attack.
Andrew Sheridan 59
Held his own in scrum but didn’t dominate. Good to see him offer himself as a carrier – needs to do this more.
Dylan Hartley 61
Proved Warren Gatland wrong with a faultless throwing display but, like Sheridan, must get more involved in the loose.
Dan Cole 64
Enjoyed what was a physical encounter and was eager to get stuck in throughout the 80 minutes.
Louis Deacon 52
A big lump who did his job at lineout but little else – fortunately for England his sin-bin didn’t cost them.
Tom Palmer 74
His best game for England – superb in lineout, some powerful tackles and great carries.
Tom Wood 75
Became more involved as the game wore on and proved he deserves to play at this level.
James Haskell 72
Arguably best game for England – carried well, tackled well and supported well.
Nick Easter 68
Did the basics well and was keen to get his hands on the ball – solid all round.
The whole bench was used and Danny Care added a fresh impetus at scrum half but there were no real standout performances as had little time to make their mark. On the other hand, no one had any shockers either!
WALES – Try: Stoddart. Con: Jones. Pens: Jones 3, Hook.
ENGLAND – Tries: Ashton 2. Cons: Flood 2. Pens: Flood 3, Wilkinson.
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.
There are no comments yet, add one below.