France v England player ratings

Man-for-man marking from the Six Nations match at the Stade de France in Paris

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The Independent Online

Following the contest between France and England we take a look at how the individual players performed.

Do you agree with our ratings? Leave your thoughts and comments below.


Jean-Baptiste Poux:

Like the entire French pack, appeared shellshocked by English intensity in the opening stages, and was occasionally outscrummed by opposite prop Dan Cole. 5

Dimitri Szarzewski:

Made some decent carries but his blind pass when under pressure led to England’s opening try and misthrew a couple of times at the lineout. 5

Nicolas Mas:

Carried well and had a more even battle against Alex Corbisiero in the scrum. Appeared prominent when France launched their second half comeback. 6

Pascal Pape:

An increasingly important player for France. Made important contributions around the park and helped France secure the breakdown in the second half. 7

Yoann Maestri:

Struggled to get into the game as England outrucked in the opening stages and made a mess of the French line out on more than one occasion. 5

Thierry Dusautoir:

Led the second half fightback with some eye-catching breaks and massive hits. Question has to be asked though – why does it take so long for France and their captain to respond? 6

Julien Bonnaire:

Worked hard all game with little reward. Willing ball carrier but often ran down white shirted cul-de-sacs and was outshone by opposite number Tom Croft. 6

Imanol Harinordoquy

The French man-of-the-match was an influential presence all over the pitch. Largely dominant under the high ball, made some huge hits and continually got over the gain line. However was partly culpable for Croft’s game winning try. 7

Julien Dupuy: Plenty of French hopes rested on the return of the former Leicester scrum-half but appeared unsure of how to set up his backs, particularly in the opening stages when he and Beauxis persisted with a badly executed kicking game. Stade De France loudly cheered when he was replaced by Parra. 5

Lionel Beauxis:

Has a massive boot but appears unable to use it – kicked like a drain throughout, directly leading to two English tries. Did ok from the tee and baffling he wasn’t left on towards the end given his reputation for kicking drop goals. 5

Julien Malzieu:

Not the most effective outing for the winger, who was guilty of a couple of poor handling errors when in good possession. Was well marshalled by Chris Ashton and the English defence. 5

Wesley Fofana:

France’s most potent attacker created their best chances but was also guilty of wasting them, particularly when he took he failed to release Parra for an easy try in the second half. Showed his inexperience but England struggled to handle him. 7

Aurelien Rougerie:

Baffling performance from one of France’s figureheads. Was largely poor, anonymous with ball in hand and very much at fault for letting Croft trot in for a try – but his catch and drive in the dying stages gave Trinh-Duc the chance to win the game. Needs to recapture consistency. 5

Vincent Clerc:

Saw little of the game and was then replaced by Maxime Merdoz after getting injured early on. 5

Clement Poitrenaud:

Safe enough in defence but didn’t appear capable of really counter-attacking the English line and was easily nullified with ball-in-hand. 5

Pick of the replacements – Morgan Parra:

His introduction brought the home crowd to life and almost managed a similar feat for his teammates. Seemed to energies the French team as they stepped up their efforts to get back in the game. 7


Alex Corbisiero:

Battled it out at the coalface with Mas and worked hard as England gained a foothold in the scrum and dominated the breakdown in the early stages. Solid in defence too. 6

Dylan Hartley:

Threw well at lineout time, scrummed hard and was another to put his body on the line when France came back in the second half. 7

Dan Cole:

Excellent performance by the England prop who made two try-saving tackles in the second half. His scrummaging was crucial too as he got on top of Poux to secure a couple of crucial penalties. 8

Mouritz Botha:

Did well to carry on into the second half after shipping a heavy shoulder knock in the first half. Tireless work in defence and the loose. 6

Geoff Parling:

Another who worked endlessly in defence in the first half as well as holding his own at the lineout. Used surprising turn of pace to burst over the gainline once or twice. 7

Tom Croft:

Huge performance from the flanker. Took his try brilliantly but that was just the cherry on top of a performance characterised by numerous tackles, intensity at the breakdown and some brilliant lineout steals. Superb. 9

Chris Robshaw:

The captain will enjoy today. Led by example and helped secure the breakdown and marshalled the defence brilliantly during the second half French onslaught. 7

Ben Morgan:

Eye-catching performance from the Bristol born number 8. His burst through the French line and offload for Foden’s try was sensational. Could make the position his own for years to come. 8

Lee Dickson:

Almost faultless performance from the scrumhalf, who plays makes decisions quickly and executes them well. Possibly more functional than exciting but he gets England going forward and is developing an excellent half-back relationship with Farrell. 8

Owen Farrell:

His reputation at number 10 continues to grow after this commanding performance in Paris. Some brilliant tactical kicking ensured England stayed on top and, barring shot coming back off the post, took his points well. Flood, Hodgson et al may have to wait a while. 8

Charlie Sharples:

Will be disappointed his first start was marred by an incredibly harsh sin-binning, but worked hard in defence throughout. 6

Brad Barritt:

Not as visible in attack than in recent weeks, but still a big, bruising performance from the centre, who helped prevent the French etting much attacking rhythm in the three quarters line. 7

Manu Tuilagi:

At times appears to be unstoppable with ball-in-hand. Finished try with aplomb and ran over French tacklers with barely contained glee. 8

Chris Ashton:

Appears increasingly frustrated and was yet again particularly ill-disciplined, such as when giving away a silly first-half penalty and when continually talking back to ref Alain Rolland. But defended well with some big tackles. 6

Ben Foden:

Deserved try after lung-busting support run and was excellent in defence. 7

Pick of the replacements – Phil Dowson

Gets the nod here for his brave snaffling a French grubber kick near the English line in the dying stages. It was a crucial take but also one which led to Dowson getting knocked cold by a French leg and get trod in the face by Tom Croft. Ouch. 6