Player ratings: English heroics

Sat, 01 Dec 2012 13:45
Englandedmondhillaryshield Owenfarrellenglandgoal-kick Chrisashtonabstry Bradbarrittabstry Joelaunchburyabs Manutuilagiloser
Tuilagi was absolutely lethal on attack

England claimed one of their greatest ever victories when they secured an extraordinary 38-21 win over the All Blacks at Twickenham on Saturday.

It was as spectacular as it was unbelievable.

In 80 inspired minutes, Chris Robshaw and his charges shocked the world, ending the world champion All Blacks’ 20-match unbeaten streak and 10-year undefeated northern hemisphere run through sheer heart and a phenomenal collective effort.

All 23 players contributed to the record win and will be hailed as heroes, as well they should be.
Mission impossible accomplished.  

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the England players.

15 Alex Goode
Was put under immense pressure in the first half but was able to scramble on each occasion and made a sniping break from inside his own 22.

14 Chris Ashton

Not his best game as he butchered a great opportunity near the line and was shaky on defence. Went some way towards making amends with a good support line and finish to score England’s second try.

13 Manu Tuilagi

Absolutely lethal on attack! Played a major part in England’s first two tries, showing good wherewithal and skill to offload in the tackle to put Brad Barritt in before leaving Dan Carter for dead and linking up with Ashton. Capped his finest performance in an England jersey with a crucial intercept try.

12 Brad Barritt

Fantastic on defence as ever, though he finally exhibited his attacking abilities with a brilliant break and follow-up to score a memorable try.  

11 Mike Brown

Exceptional on attack, not so much on defence. He weaved passed seven would-be defenders but was somewhat of a liability on the defensive side of the scale.   

10 Owen Farrell

Stepped up in a big way and had a major hand in the victory. Kept the scoreboard ticking with his punishing boot, even slotting a drop goal, to pile on the pressure on the All Blacks. Also saved a try – albeit temporarily – and escaped a yellow card with a deliberate knock down of Aaron Smith’s pass.  

9 Ben Youngs

Looked dangerous when he took defenders on but regularly turned over possession with nothing kicks.

8 Ben Morgan

A key ball-carrier who won precious hard yards in the thick of the action and backed it up with committed defence.

7 Chris Robshaw

Made a statement in his own right as he shrugged off pre-match criticism to lead England to a famous victory. Broke into double digits on defence and made no less than 13 carries. That’s leading from the front …

6 Tom Wood

What mongrel he showed to win the official man of the match award. He was the heartbeat of the spirited England pack and outstanding in all departments.

5 Geoff Parling

A tower of strength in a superior England line-out with six takes, contested restarts well and managed a turnover on the deck.  

4 Joe Launchbury

Contributed at the breakdown to no end. He played like a seasoned Test campaigner with his uncanny ability to win turnovers on the ground as a lock bringing an extra dimension to England’s artillery. Also sensational on defence, making a peerless 14 tackles and slipping none.

3 Dan Cole

Burrowed into rucks with velocity and won a textbook breakdown penalty whilst holding the English scrum steady.

2 Tom Youngs

As the smallest forward on the park he used his low centre of gravity to his advantage, making ample metres with his low, direct surges and strong leg drives. What’s more, his line-out throwing was accurate for the most part, which allowed the hosts to use the set-piece as a launch pad.  

1 Alex Corbisiero

No inward scrumming this time and fronted up well in the tight loose.


16 David Paice
(on for Youngs, 73rd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

17 David Wilson (on for Cole, 73rd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

18 Mako Vunipola (on for Corbisiero, 66th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

19 Courtney Lawes (on for Launchbury, 66th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

20 James Haskell (on for Morgan, 57th minute)
While he made no noticeable errors, his workrate as an impact player was disappointing.   

21 Danny Care
(on for Youngs, 68th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Freddie Burns (on for Farrell, 64th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

23 Jonathan Joseph (on for Tuilagi, 66th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.