Player ratings: Outmuscled

Sat, 24 Nov 2012 19:08
Alexgoodeboks Manutuilagiboks England-v-sa3 England-v-sa2
Goode was the best back on the park bar none

England’s six-year winless streak against South Africa continued as they were bullied by the Springboks in a 16-15 home defeat on Saturday.

The English made early inroads at Twickenham with direct carries around the rucks before the Springboks caught on and shored up the pillars by committing more numbers to the breakdown.

A shocking display by Toby Flood at flyhalf and baffling captaincy certainly didn’t help the hosts’ cause.

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the England players.

15 Alex Goode
The best back on the park bar none. He was safe as houses at the back and danced passed defenders throughout with his elusive counter-attacking ability.

14 Chris Ashton

His workrate wasn’t up to standard and he failed to provide the X-factor he’s renowned for.

13 Manu Tuilagi

Did what Ashton didn’t – injected himself into the game after being a frustrating spectator for most of the first half. His two breakaways were the closest England looked to scoring a try all evening.

12 Brad Barritt

Endured another bruising encounter against his countrymen in which he brought little to the table and was on the receiving end of a big hit from JP Pietersen.

11 Mike Brown

The natural fullback more than vindicated his selection on the wing, not only fielding the high ball with aplomb but slicing through the Springbok defence on the counter.

10 Toby Flood

Had a shocker! Inexcusably missed two easy penalties, kicked a grubber dead in-goal close to the line and was suspect on defence.  

9 Ben Youngs

A poor, ankle-high pass arguably cost England a try in the opening five minutes and he fell off a couple of tackles.  

8 Ben Morgan

Very strong with ball in hand, beating defenders and offloading in the tackle, and good on defence.

7 Chris Robshaw

Lost a point for his daft decision to kick at goal with just seconds left on the clock and trailing by four. Following last weekend’s decisions to turn down three kickable penalties, Robshaw’s perplexing decision-making could cost him the captaincy.  

6 Tom Wood

Led the England tackling stats with 10 hits but was blown up on more than one occasion.

5 Geoff Parling

Signalled his intent from the kick-off with a charge down of Ruan Pienaar’s box kick that immediately put the Boks on the back foot. He was impressive in all departments and the go-to man in the line-outs.

4 Joe Launchbury

A satisfactory run-on debut for the youngster, whose workrate for a second row forward would have pleasing to Stuart Lancaster.

3 Dan Cole

Rather anonymous. Solid in the set-piece, but nowhere in general play. He was significantly outgrafted by the Bok props.

2 Tom Youngs

His line-out throwing was atrocious and while he tried to make amends with his work around the park, his performance remained mediocre.

1 Alex Corbisiero

Difficult to score as he blatantly scrummed in on the angle. Judged on how he was able to take advantage of Nigel Owens’ interpretation of the scrum laws, he gets an above average rating, but he could easily be given a sub-five score.  


16 David Paice
(on for Youngs, 67th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

17 David Wilson (on for Cole, 75th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

18 Mako Vunipola (on for Corbisiero, 53rd minute)
Conceded a penalty and coughed up possession in a great attacking position.

19 Mouritz Botha
(on for Launchbury, 72nd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

20 James Haskell (on for Wood, 53rd minute)
Made little of an impact in close to half-an-hour on the field.

21 Danny Care
(on for Youngs, 67th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Owen Farrell (on for Flood, sixth minute - concussion bin; on for Flood, 44th minute)
Offered the lacklustre English backline a hint of direction and most importantly, slotted his kicks at goal.

23 Jonathan Joseph

Not used.