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Premiership Rugby

Post-match ratings – How England rated

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

FULLBACK: JOSH LEWSEYIt just was not a game for telling intrusion and counterattack by a fullback but he used opportunities to get involved, especially early on and again late. What he did was efficient.Player rating: 6/10RIGHT-WING: JASON ROBINSONOn defence, in cleaning up the loose ball and in protecting the ball when he carried it he was, one lapse apart, excellent.Player rating: 7/10OUTSIDE CENTRE: WILL GREENWOODThere was not much to do on defence or attack. He started poorly but put through a telling grubber late in the match.Player rating: 6/10INSIDE CENTRE: MIKE CATTHe had a wobbly start when he had a lot of responsibility but after that a cool head and a bucket-load of courage saw his contribution to the England victory grew as he protected Jonny Wilkinson, played the role of the midfield basher, though his physique suggested that he was less suited to it than Mike Tindall whom he had replaced, and defended mightily.Player rating: 7/10LEFT-WING: BEN COHENEarly he was used to distract French hawks from Jonny Wilkinson but for the rest the conditions caused trouble to his physique and particular skills.Player rating: 4/10FLY-HALF: JONNY WILKINSONHidden to start with he took over eventually and his game, even in the woeful conditions, till eventually he was back dictating the game with kicks of all sorts, bits of probing and unyielding defence. But above all it was his kicking at goal that counted – three dropped goals under pressure and five penalty goals.Player rating: 9/10SCRUM-HALF: MATT DAWSONHe was so brave and did so much to get his side going in the first quarter of the match, and then he looked after those behind him with sympathetic passing in the unsympathetic wet. He was there to put pressure on the great Fabien Galthié and keep pressure on the French with the variation of his game.Player rating: 8/10NO.8: LAWRENCE DALLAGLIOIt was hard to control the ball at the back of scrums and he suffered much pressure but managed to keep the ball for his side. For the rest his game was at close quarters and certainly not without error, especially at line-out time.Player rating: 4/10NO.7 FLANK: NEIL BACKHe defended well against French efforts to get a post-scrum drive going and had a splendid run which threatened the French line.Player rating: 7/10NO.6 FLANK: RICHARD HILLThe return of this strong man was timely. Slow reactions early on may have given Serge Betsen the centimetres he needed to score the only try of the match but for the rest he tidied up the mess and drove with the best. England must be grateful for his return.Player rating: 7/10NO.5 LOCK: BEN KAYHe produced England's best line-out ball, brilliantly stole one from the French and was always there as part of the England forward squeeze.Player rating: 8/10NO.4 LOCK: MARTIN JOHNSON (CAPTAIN)He led with absolute concentration and dedication, the spearhead of much that the forwards did, often the pressure on the French and annoyed with himself for giving away two first-half penalties.Player rating: 8/10TIGHTHEAD PROP: PHIL VICKERYApart from his work in the loose, it was his scrummaging, his support and his work in the mauls which counted so much in England's victory.Player rating: 8/10HOOKER: STEVE THOMPSONScrumming was fine and general play was fine but line-outs beyond Ben Kay at No.4 was not fine.Player rating: 5/10LOOSEHEAD PROP: TREVOR WOODMANA man of quiet strength and efficiency, no shiner but at the heart of that winning forward effort.Player rating: 6/10

REPLACEMENTS:

DORIAN WESTHe had only two minutes at the end of the match.

JASON LEONARDHe broke a world record for Test appearances for a country when he came on for a minute while Phil Vickery had blood removed and then again for the last two minutes.

LEWIS MOODYHe played the last eight minutes in Richard Hill's place.

KYRAN BRACKENHe replaced Matt Dawson for the last 11 minutes and was accomplished.

MIKE TINDALLHe came on for Mike Catt for the last 12 minutes and had some deft touches indeed.

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