England & South Africa Player Ratings – 2nd Test
15. Ben Foden – 6
Roughed about under the high ball and should have passed outside when he broke through in the first half.
14. Chris Ashton – 7
Subtly excellent. Chased well after Youngs box kicks, ran a great line in the build up to Flood’s try and looked hungry.
13. Jonathan Joseph – 6
Went well for a first start, but didn’t cut loose as was hoped. Mind you under the pressure of de Villiers getting away passes and staying on his feet was enough.
12. Manu Tuilagi – 7
A mixed bag. Made plenty of good tackles but missed a key one on Spies. Easily England’s most effective option going forward until Waldrom’s arrival. Must remember he’s still only 21.
11. David Strettle – 5
Looked far too lightweight and suffered from Alberts and Pietersen channeling his wing.
10. Toby Flood – 7
Made the most of what little clean ball was on offer to orchestrate attacks but this was an uphill battle. His experience was vital, kicking well at goal.
9. Ben Youngs – 8
Excellent. His passing game at times was a touch too slow but overall showed real determination and was rewarded with two tries. His effort to stop Pietersen on the decisive try summed up his commitment.
1. Joe Marler – 6
England’s scrum seemed to perk up following the departure of Bismarck du Plessis and the arrival of Alex Corbisiero, but credit to Marler for his shift. Developing well.
2. Dylan Hartley – 5
The lineout struggled under pressure from Kruger and England could have done with seeing more of Hartley going forward in the loose. Defensively sound.
3. Dan Cole – 7
Seemed to pour everything into it, even half his right ear. Bemoaned Rolland’s interpretation of the scrums at times but hit hard around the fringes.
4. Mouritz Botha – 5
Sadly quiet around the park when England needed to be at his most abrasive. This was a fight and we didn’t see enough scrap.
5. Geoff Parling – 6
Plenty of big hits linger suggesting he was effective as ever. A latecomer to Test rugby who will only get better learning from Saturday.
6. Tom Johnson – 7
Niggly, brute of a flanker who hunted every high ball on offer. His consistency was remarkable considering this was his 2nd cap. England need a character like Joe Worsley and he came close.
7. Chris Robshaw – 7
Relentless. Leads from the front, constantly found hanging off runners. Looked shattered when Spies sped round him but came again. The openside is a strong position right now in world rugby and Robshaw is up there.
8. Ben Morgan – 5
Didn’t give enough. Supposed to be England’s main strike runner from the pack yet was comprehensively overshadowed by Waldrom.
The aforementioned Corbisiero and Waldrom both put down big markers – the London Irish prop helping to dominate the scrum with Waldrom’s run posing a threat. Alex Goode showed good touches in the short time he has available.
15. Pat Lambie – 7, 14. JP Pietersen – 7, 13. Jean de Villiers – 7, 12. Frans Steyn – 7, 11. Bryan Habana – 7, 10. Morné Steyn – 6, 9. Francois Hougaard – 7; 1. Tendai Mtawarira – 6, 2. Bismarck du Plessis – 9, 3. Jannie du Plessis – 7, 4. Eben Etzebeth – 7, 5. Juandré Kruger – 8, 6. Willem Alberts – 8, 7. Marcell Coetzee – 7, 8. Pierre Spies – 7
For about 50 minutes, one of the best performances of the season. The problem was in between there was a half hour gap where the Springboks crumbled. Letting a side come back into a match from an 18 point lead to 4 points is unforgiveable, but there were so many good points it’s hard to criticise. The pack were phenomenal, spearheaded by the incredible Bismarck. A performance to remember.
by Ben Coles