England & South Africa Player Ratings – 3rd Test
15. Alex Goode – 7
Very good for a first start, caught plenty of the high balls and looked at home. Very encouraging.
14. Chris Ashton – 7
Industrious going forward but his defence is still questionable at key moments. Good performance though.
13. Jonathan Joseph – 5
Whether he needs more time or not is down to the cynics, but Joseph saw so little of the ball due to passes missing him out that it was hard for him to make an impression.
12. Manu Tuilagi – 8
Excellent. Sucked in defenders and was a constant nightmare for the Boks. Hard to contain his raw power when he plays like that.
11. Ben Foden – 6
Back on the wing but not as effective as in the 1st Test.
10. Toby Flood – No score
Only lasted 11 minutes and England sorely missed his control after he went.
9. Danny Care – 8
Very good. Backed himself for the try, managed the game well and looked a threat.
1. Joe Marler – 7
Undoubtedly his best game on tour. Growing into the role and was stronger in the scrum, meaning Corbisiero’s late withdrawal wasn’t a problem.
2. Dylan Hartley – 5
Solid in the set-piece but England needed him on the pitch and his sin-binning was inconvenient.
3. Dan Cole – 7
Powerful scrummaging performance, found in the middle of every maul. Arguably England’s MVP because behind him at tighthead prop, the cupboard is bare.
4. Tom Palmer – 7
Honestly? Brilliant. Tackled like a maniac and carried with aplomb. When he plays like that, England have a gem on their hands.
5. Geoff Parling – 7
Helped turn the tide at the lineout as the game wore on after a couple of losses early on.
6. Tom Johnson – 8
Find of the tour. Has continued to impress since his first turnover in Durban and in PE made a huge amount of hits and carried brilliantly.
7. James Haskell – 6
Not an easy task filling Robshaw’s boots and Haskell struggled with the intensity. Tackled well, but has given better performances.
8. Thomas Waldrom – 6
Went so well off the bench last week in Joburg but seemed to struggle here. Had a chance to outshine Ben Morgan and he could have done better.
Given that England weren’t using Joseph, bringing on Brad Barritt made the most sense to shore up the defensive effort and hunt for the penalty. Dowson worked hard once more but the main talking point was obviously Farrell, whose kicking performance was disappointing and looked like he struggled under the pressure.
15. Gio Aplon – 6, 14. JP Pietersen – 7, 13. Jean de Villiers – 6, 12. Wynand Olivier – 5, 11. Bryan Habana – 6, 10. Morné Steyn – 4, 9. Francois Hougaard – 5; 1. Tendai Mtawarira – 5, 2. Bismarck du Plessis – 6, 3. Jannie du Plessis – 6, 4. Eben Etzebeth – 5, 5. Juandré Kruger – 6, 6. Marcell Coetzee – 7, 7. Jacques Potgeiter – 6, 8. Pierre Spies – 6
No outstanding performances from individuals this week but with the series won South Africa took their foot of the intensity pedal just a touch. Coetzee impressed again as did Pietersen but Morné Steyn’s form is disastrous.
by Ben Coles