PLAYER RATINGS: Too little, too late

Sat, 10 Feb 2018 20:41

OPINION: Wales became stronger the later the game went on, but still lost 6-12 top England in  a thrilling Six Nations encounter at a rain-swept Twickenham on Saturday.

Jonny May scored a pair of first-half tries as the reigning champions, England, cashed in on two moments of brilliance.

The wing struck as early as the third minute after an excellent cross-field grubber-kick by Owen Farrell and was on hand to complete a 25-phase move following a superb pass out of the tackle by Joe Launchbury in the 20th minute.

Wales's Gareth Anscombe scored the only points of the second half, after England replacement Sam Underhill had made a try-saving tackle, but his 77th-minute penalty was too little too late for the visitors.

Jan de Koning rates the Welsh players!

15 Gareth Anscombe:
His kicking out of hand seemed aimless at times. Looked far more effective when he moved into the flyhalf position. Maybe initially he didn't adjust mentally to starting - coming in as a late replacement for Leigh Halfpenny. Plenty of running metres, but not flawless.

14 Josh Adams:
Did have many opportunities on attack, but was solid on defence - missing only one of his tackles.

13 Scott Williams:
Had a poor day at the office, missing tackles and conceding turnovers.

12 Hadleigh Parkes:
Seemed to have a better tactical appreciation than the other playmakers in the side. However, his execution did not always match his vision.

11 Steff Evans:
His lack of a kicking game was badly exposed. Also missed more tackles than he made.

10 Rhys Patchell:
Those who wanted to compare him to Phil Bennett must watch this game. He has the talent, but is a long way off the legend.

9 Gareth Davies:
His box kicks were not as accurate as required in the conditions. Was predictable and missed tackles.

8 Ross Moriarty:
Some massive, and crucial, hits to stop the England raids. Didn't make many metres, but along with his fellow loose forwards Wales' valuable players.

7 Josh Navidi:
Busy in general play and was a rock on defence and made no noticeable mistakes.

6 Aaron Shingler:
Worked really hard on defence, which meant an enormous tackle count. However, it was his ball-in-hand moments that really impressed.

5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain):
As always a decent workrate, but was not his best game - by the high standards he normally stats.

4 Cory Hill:
Had a number of decent carries and the team's most productive player on defence.

3 Samson Lee:
Was strong in the scrums and made heaps of tackles, but his hands let him down at times.

2 Ken Owens:
Was a rock on defence and won some crucial turnovers. Plenty of carries, but his metres made were disappointing.

1 Rob Evans:
Did his work in the set pieces and on defence.  Steady, rather than spectacular.


16 Elliot Dee (on for Owens, 65th min) :
Massive tackle count for a short stay - almost a tackle every minute.

17 Wyn Jones (on for Evans, 58th min):
The epitome of an impact player. Plenty of value in the set pieces, attack and defence in his short stay.

18 Tomas Francis (on for  Lee, 58th min):
His workrate was disappointing, but did the basics well.

19 Bradley Davies (on for Hill, 74th min):
Not enough time to be rated.

20 Justin Tipuric (on for Moriarty, 65th min):
Had a quiet day by his usually high standards.

21 Aled Davies (on for Gareth Davies, 67th min):
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Owen Watkin:
Not used.

23 George North (on for Patchell, 56th min):
Showed his value on attack, leaving the England defence for dead on more than one occasion.