Player ratings: Too few good guys

Sat, 16 Jun 2012 18:53
Jan de Koning rates the English players

Guts! That one words sums up England's display in going behind 0-2 in the three match series.

However, you need more than gust to beat a Springbok team on the front foot and those first 20 minutes sealed England's fate - a respectable 27-36 loss.

There will be plenty for them to take into the last Test in Port Elizabeth, especially in terms of selection.

It is clear some of Stuart Lancaster's selection headaches are not going to be resolved easily.

Jan de Koning rates the England players!

15 Ben Foden:
He had the ball four times in the first half and made one clean break, then had another run in the second half that saw him clock a total of 58 metres in the match. Other than that he was average.

14 Chris Ashton:
Didn't see much of the ball before the break and just as little in the second half. Made a couple of tackles, but no more. His workrate is well below par, but that is what you expect of League converts.

13 Jonathan Joseph:
After all the pre-match hype he did not manage a single clean break. Admittedly he did not have many chances with the ball in hand, given that the Boks dominated possession in the first half. At least he made all his tackles.

12 Manusamoa Tuilagi:
He had a handful of decent runs and made some good metres. he also tried to mix it up with a quickly-taken 22-metre restart, but overall you got the feeling that he was just above average.

11 David Strettle:
There was a good kick-chase, but also had very few chances with ball in hand. Made a few tackles.

10 Toby Flood:
He looked very hesitant on defence and never really took the ball to the line, which was probably why England's backline looked so ordinary - there was no variation. His goal-kicking was his best attribute.

9 Ben Youngs:
Showed he was willing to take the game to the Boks - there was a quick tap-'n-go set up England's first try and then he was quick to pounce on a Bok mistake early in the second half to score England's second try. Also sniped from a ruck close in for the third. Was England's best back by far.

8 Ben Morgan:
Had some strong carries when England eventually got some front foot ball and made a few big hits, but tended to drift out of the game at times. Not a surprise he was replaced soon after the break.

7 Chris Robshaw (captain):
For a captain he missed far too many tackles and while his workrate was good, was ineffective in carrying the ball up.

6 Tom Johnson:
One of the hardest workers in the England pack and may have missed a tackle, but made more than most. Add to that some impressive carries in the second half and he was probably the visitors' best forward.

5 Geoff Parling:
Worked incredibly hard on defence, to produce the highest tackle count of the English. However, he also got a huge hand-off from Bismarck du Plessis and made hardly any metres with the ball in hand.

4 Mouritz Botha:
Made a good number of tackles, but undid all the good work by giving away some silly penalties. It was obvious why he would never have made it as a first class lock in South Africa ... very average.

3 Dan Cole:
Made a great steal early in the second half. He got penalised at scrum time, when coming under pressure from Tendai Mtawarira, but then got his own back on the Beast. Some impressive work on defence.

2 Dylan Hartley:
While he was okay on defence - if you ignore his two missed tackles - his workrate is poor and does nothing with ball in hand.

1 Joe Marler:
He simply has not lived up to the reputation he brought into this series. He made five tackles and missed two. He made an embarrassing two metres in total with the ball in hand.


16 Lee Mears (on for Hartley, 74th min):
Not enough time to be rated.

17 Alex Corbisiero (on for Cole, 50th min):
His strength made a difference to the England pack in the second half and he worked hard at the breakdown. He got penalised at scrum time, but played a big role in getting the tourists back in the game.

18 Tom Palmer (on for Botha, 44th min):
He was hardly better than Botha. Only made one tackle and missed one.

19 Thomas Waldrom (on for Morgan, 46th min):
Strong with ball in hand and one of the few English players who broke tackles - making more metres per carry than any of his teammates. Also didn't miss any tackles.

20 Lee Dickson (on for Youngs, 74th min):
Not enough time to be rated.

21 Owen Farrell (on for Strettle, 59th min):
No real impact, as he saw very little of the ball and produced an aimless midfield kick.

22 Alex Goode (on for Joseph, 77th min):
Not enough time to be rated.