Sunday, 28 February 2010

I've seen the future

...and his name is Ben Foden.

A major (although not the only) silver lining to the black cloud of England's defeat to Ireland yesterday was, I thought, the performance of replacement fullback Ben Foden.

It may have taken an injury to Delon Armitage to force Johnno to relent and finally give Foden some game time but the impact was immediate and dramatic. Unlike the passive Armitage, Foden went hunting for the ball and, unlike the England centres, constantly asked questions of the Irish defence.

He even comes with ready-made celebrity girlfriend (and we know how much Johnno just loves that).

Anyway, for the record here's my assessment of the England players' performances:

15. Armitage 5 (out of 10) - passive and anonymous
14. Cueto 6 - solid and unspectacular
13. Tait 6 - had his moments, just not enough of them
12. Flutey 4 - was he playing?
11. Monye 5 - good under high ball but will somebody please take his blinkers off
10. Wilkinson 7 - best game for a while although missed kicks at goal ultimately costly
9. Care 5 - would've been a 7 if not for daft penalty reversal
1. Payne 7 - had the measure of Hayes all afternoon
2. Hartley 5 - lineout's becoming a problem
3. Cole 8 - a real find this season, great scrummaging and deserved try
4. Shaw - wasn't on long enough to grade..
5. Borthwick 6 - decent enough game but lineout was hit and miss
6. Haskell 6 - half decent second half after anonymous first period
7. Moody 7 - worked his socks off as usual with little support from back row colleagues
8. Easter 4 - worst game I've seen from him. How many times does he need to be told to stay onside?

Deacon 5 - outshone by an unfit DOC - Lawes in next time please
Foden 8 - real impact. Shoe-in for Scotland
Worsley 6 - should have replaced Easter rather than Moody
Hodgson 7 - very composed and could start at Murrayfield
Mears 7 - another itching for a start next time out
Wilson 7 - looks like England now have genuine options at tighthead. Needs to sort out the man boobs though.


Comrade Mongubu said...

I'd agree with that.

Stuart Barnes bizarrely picked Deacon in his Six Nations 'team of the week' but I didn't see him do anything.

Anonymous said...

Why oh why is Borthwick captain? :-(