England v Scotland 6 Nations 2013: England player ratings
15: Alex Goode – 6
The first time he has looked a little uncomfortable in an England shirt. A times seemed to lack pace, and with Twelvetrees in the team he struggled to get himself on the ball as much as usual. Still has credit in the bank, but will need to step it up next week.
14. Chris Ashton – 7
Seems to have rediscovered his handy knack of scoring tries even when not playing that well. Not nearly as influential as he used to be, defences have perhaps worked him out – as is so often the case when someone has such an impact so early in their career. Deserves to be stuck with for now.
13. Brad Barritt – 7
Will be anxiously looking over his shoulder this week as Tuilagi returns to fitness. Another performance which confirmed him as a solid defender, but little more. Needs to add an attacking dimension to his game if he is not to be sacrificed.
12. Billy Twelvetrees – 9
Simply marvellous on debut. Twelvetrees looked like he was born for international rugby, confidently streaking over the gain-line time and again, and fizzing passes off both hands. Reminded us all that taking the ball from depth at speed is still as good a way as any to get over the line.
11. Mike Brown – 6
Like Goode, one of his poorer outings in the white shirt. Miscued kick and poor chase gave Stuart Hogg all the space he needed to cut open the English defence and set up Scotland’s first try. Still, he somehow made the most metres (133 – over double of anyone else) of the England team. Will nevertheless be under threat from Foden for next week.
10. Owen Farrell – 9
A coming-of-age performance from young Farrell. Not only was his goal-kicking as exemplary as ever, his game management and distribution was at a level previously unseen. That pass for Geoff Parling’s try was as breathtaking as it was unexpected from Farrell. A couple more outings like this and the shirt will be his for the foreseeable future.
9. Ben Youngs – 8
Rewarded Lancaster for his faith in him over Care with two assists and a typically rambunctious performance. A sizzling break in the second half set the foundation for Parling’s try, and he will be in for an armchair ride if this pack continue to dominate as they did on Saturday.
1. Joe Marler – 6
Was strong in the scrum, showing up the ageing Murray who looks a shadow of the player he once was. Seems to have lost his previously-bulldozing ball-carrying ability, though. Looked ponderous with ball in hand on occasion.
2. Tom Youngs – 6
Like Marler, struggled to influence the game – apart from giving away a few silly penalties at the breakdown. The line-out went alright, but there were a few wayward throws. Probably needed a bigger performance to hold off the challenge of Hartley.
3. Dan Cole – 7
A solid if unspectacular performance from Cole. He dominated at scrum time – when does he not? – and again showed that he is master, in the front row world at least, of the breakdown. An invaluable asset to England.
4. Joe Launchbury – 8
Has quickly confirmed himself as one of England’s most influential players, which is scary to think when you consider he is still just 21 years old. Against a giant Scottish pack, he dispelled the notion that he is somehow too lightweight. Deserved his disallowed try.
5. Geoff Parling – 9
If Launchbury is one of England’s most influential players, Parling is arguably the most influential of them all. Topped the tackle charts for England with 11 which is astonishing when you consider the mobility that England have in the back-row, and also managed to cross for his first international try.
6. Tom Wood – 8
Most of Wood’s work goes unnoticed, but this should not diminish its importance. Part of what looks like a very well-balanced back-row, he made his tackles and did everything that was asked of him to the highest standard. A handy man to have at line-out time, too.
7. Chris Robshaw – 8
Criticised over the autumn for his leadership, Robshaw put in a performance this weekend that showed why he is the right man to have at the helm. A nuisance throughout, he seemed to be everywhere, carrying strongly and disrupting opposition ball at the breakdown.
8. Ben Morgan – 8
Would have been one of the frontrunners for MOTM had he not hobbled off with an injury. A wrecking ball in the loose, Scotland were made to regret some off-target kicking that gave him the chance the run it back. Seems to consistently bounce off the first man.
James Haskell replaced the injured Morgan and reminded us that he still has a lot to offer as an impact sub. Dylan Hartley looked sufficiently pumped-up when he came on to suggest that he may start next week. Toby Flood showed some nice touches, but Dave Strettle had little time to show what he can do and may be under threat from a fit-again Foden. Mako Vunipola made some strong carries, while Danny Care showed the clinical side to his game with a well taken try.