Six Nations
Wales v England - How they rated
ESPNscrum Staff
February 5, 2011
England fly-half Toby Flood offloads out of the tackle, Wales v England, Six Nations, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, February 4, 2011
Toby Flood was one of England's stand-out players against Wales © Getty Images

The 2011 Six Nations began with a cracking encounter at the Millenium stadium as England beat Wales in Cardiff. Here's our verdict on how the protagonists rated.

James Hook: Out of the action too much at fullback. His talents need to be utilised far more. 7/10

Morgan Stoddart: Scored a try and was hungry for work throughout the game. Relished the high-octane occasion. 7

Jamie Roberts: Eagerly-awaited return to Test rugby after injury, but could make little impact on the contest. 6

Jonathan Davies: Battled hard, but could now be cited following a blatant trip on England wing Chris Ashton that the officials missed. 6

Shane Williams: Probably his final Six Nations appearance against England before retiring from Test rugby, but it was not his night. 6

Stephen Jones: Kicked 11 points, yet he never stamped his authority on the match as Wales missed several chances. 5

Mike Phillips: The Ospreys scrum-half struggled to impose himself on young rival Ben Youngs and was laboured throughout. 5

Paul James: Encountered problems at times in the scrum, as Wales sorely missed the injured Gethin Jenkins. 6

Matthew Rees: Wales' captain led from the front, but it was ultimately to no avail. 6

Craig Mitchell: Sin-binned early in the second period, which capped a tough night. 5

Bradley Davies: Wales' most threatening forward with ball in hand, he continues to grow in stature as a Test player. 7

Alun-Wyn Jones: Got stuck into the contest, but was eclipsed by the efforts of England lock Tom Palmer. 6

Dan Lydiate: Did a lot of unheralded work, and will learn from the experience. 6

Sam Warburton: Like Lydiate, the Cardiff Blues openside is developing promisingly at the highest level. 6

Andy Powell: Made a couple of powerful surges, but conceded a penalty that England kicked before going off with shoulder trouble. 5


Ryan Jones: Took over from Powell six minutes before half-time and gave Wales much more drive and dynamism from No.8. 7

Lee Byrne: Replaced Stephen Jones 13 minutes from time, but then conceded a penalty that Jonny Wilkinson kicked. 5

Dwayne Peel: Sent on for Phillips 10 minutes from time. 6

Jonathan Thomas: Entered the action late on, but could not prevent Wales from coming up short. 6

John Yapp: Could come into contention for a starting place against Scotland next weekend. 6

Richard Hibbard: Played the last six minutes instead of shattered skipper Rees. 6


Ben Foden: Foden was in the spotlight after being branded the most hated man in Wales for his newspaper comments and he responded with an impressive all-round performance. 7/10

Chris Ashton: Took his tally to five tries in eight Tests. Always a potent attacking threat with the ball in hand and a lethal finisher. 8

Mike Tindall: Appointed captain for the first time but those who believe England need more adventure in midfield will not have been quietened by his performance. 6

Shontayne Hape: The Bath centre was effective on the crash ball and he showed quick feet to cut the Wales line but conceded careless penalties. 6

Mark Cueto: Another Test goes by without a try for the England wing but he is a vital cog in their attacking machine and defensively resolute. 7

Toby Flood: Deserved the man-of-the-match award. Created England's opening try by exploiting a gap in the Welsh defence and kicked all his goals. 8

Ben Youngs: Another lively game from Youngs who is a marked man after his autumn exploits but won the battle of the scrum-halves. 7

Andrew Sheridan: Did not dominate Wales tighthead Craig Mitchell as many had expected but strong with the ball in hand as England have demanded of him. 7

Dylan Hartley: The feisty Northampton captain had his temperament questioned and responded not with punches but with a strong, controlled performance. 7

Dan Cole: Finished effectively honours-even in his scrum battle with Wales loosehead Paul James and another lung-bursting performance around the park. 7

Louis Deacon: Sin-binned in the first half when England were under the cosh but slotted well into a reshuffled pack on his return to Test rugby from injury. 7

Tom Palmer: Another stellar performance from the athletic, intelligent Stade Francais lock who is cementing his place in England's second row for the World Cup. 7

Tom Wood: A confident debut for the Northampton flanker who looked at home in the most frenetic and ferocious of Test matches. 7

James Haskell: Brings a powerful presence to England's back row and never stopped 7 Nick Easter: The Harlequins number eight did not dominate as he did in the autumn but another performance of graft and full-blooded commitment. 7

England replacements:

David Wilson (for Sheridan, 61mins): Penalised for holding on when England had a great chance to score. 6

Joe Worsley (for Haskell, 63mins): Brought fresh tackling legs into the England back row. 6

Danny Care (for Youngs, 63mins): Did not enjoy as much quick ball as Youngs. 6

Jonny Wilkinson (for Flood, 66mins): Sent on to close out the game and sealed the victory with a late penalty. 6

Steve Thompson (for Hartley, 69mins): Reinforced England at a time when Wales were on the comeback. 6

Simon Shaw (for Deacon, 69mins): Showed all his experience and made a big tackle on Dwayne Pell at the end to secure a turnover. 6

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.