Six Nations 2015: England Player Ratings vs. Scotland at Twickenham

Daniel Rey@@ReyDanielMFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2015

Six Nations 2015: England Player Ratings vs. Scotland at Twickenham

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    Chris Robshaw holds aloft the Calcutta Cup after England's victory against Scotland
    Chris Robshaw holds aloft the Calcutta Cup after England's victory against ScotlandLaurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    England defeated Scotland 25-13 at Twickenham to retain the Calcutta Cup and put themselves at the top of the 2015 Six Nations table.

    But England could and should have put many more points on the Scots. As head coach Stuart Lancaster noted, per the BBC: “We probably left three or four tries out there. We were creating chances but we didn't finish them.”

    In a mixed performance, with a handful of standout players, Ben Youngs was the official RBS Man of the Match. However, the scrum-half doesn’t top these ratings because others had a bigger impact on the game for longer.

Front Row

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    Associated Press

    Joe Marler: He was penalised twice at the scrum for not having his hips straight, although he will debate both of those calls. This is part of a slightly worrying trend shown against Ireland and Scotland of England not exerting their usual dominance at the set piece. 5

    Dylan Hartley: The hooker has under-thrown several times this Six Nations, and he was reliant on Courtney Lawes to help him out against Scotland. He's not adding much in the loose either. 5

    Dan Cole: He could have been yellow carded on the England line when the Scots were gathering momentum. He is strong at the ruck but must lose his penchant for giving away breakdown penalties. 5

Second Row

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    Courtney Lawes on the charge
    Courtney Lawes on the chargeClive Rose/Getty Images

    Dave Attwood: A fair performance from the Bath man, but where was his trademark physicality in the loose? Geoff Parling came on in Attwood’s place and made a good impact. 5

    Courtney Lawes: The Northampton man was back from injury with a bang. Lawes made the best of his Northampton colleague Hartley’s weaker throws and tackled with purpose. His line-speed is phenomenal:  twice he forced a turnover from fly-half Finn Russell. One of those gave England a scrum five metres out they should have scored from. Lawes showed how much he had been missed. 8.5

Back Row

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    James Haskell: Despite outstanding form this season with Wasps, Haskell was relatively ineffective for the second week running. Summing up his day was a forward pass to Mike Brown that cost England a try. At his best, he can hold off Tom Wood for the No. 6 jersey, but expect Wood to be preferred next weekend against France. 5

    Chris Robshaw: One turnover won, but this not the usual round-the-field performance from England’s captain. He has now played the full 80 minutes in the last 18 internationals. Is the horse suffering from being over-worked? 6

    @ChrisRobshaw played every minute of last 18 tests. Now THAT is commitment #ENGvSCO #SixNations

    — Cameron Tucker (@HongKongHobbit) March 14, 2015

    Billy Vunipola: He had some good carries and a solid defensive effort but not up to his level in Dublin. 6

Half Backs

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    Ben Youngs: The official RBS Six Nations Man of the Match is combining very effectively with George Ford. Like his former Leicester Tigers team-mate he is delaying his pass to draw in defenders, taking them out of the game. His usually strong kicking game hardly featured, which must have been a tactical ploy from England to keep ball in hand. 7.5

    George Ford: The fly-half was the Bleacher Report Man of the Match. Against Scotland, Ford showcased his running game, incisive passing and kicking ability from hand. He also scored a good try (see video above) after spotting a mismatch against two forwards. Ford missed two goals from the tee but England are much better now they have a fly-half who attacks the gain line. 9

Centres

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    Luther Burrell: Burrell should have fed Anthony Watson for a try in the first minute but took the contact. Burrell also conceded an unnecessary penalty for not rolling away, but he made a fine try-saving tackle on Jonny Gray during Scotland’s period of dominance in the first half. The odd man out in a creative back line, Burrell worked better last year with fly-half Owen Farrell than he is with George Ford. 5

    Jonathan Joseph: Scored a very well-taken try, akin to his finish in Cardiff against Wales (see video above). He was exciting when he received the ball and distributed nicely. However, Joseph was barely used as a runner in the second half. 7

Back Three

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    Jack Nowell: During the 2014 Six Nations Nowell was exciting but very naive. Despite some inexperience showing, his performance against Scotland was his best yet for England. He finished well for his try (see video above), made a fine tackle on Dougie Fife, constantly looked for the ball and made numerous breaks.

    Awesome start! @nowellsy15 is on fire! @O2sports #WearTheRose

    — Ben Foden (@ben_foden) March 14, 2015

    If Nowell could play with his head up and see where his support is, England would have an excellent all-round winger. What’s more, a clever quickly-thrown lineout to George Ford that went half the width of the pitch, earned England 75 metres instead of having a tricky line-out to negotiate. 8.5

    Anthony Watson: A slippery runner, but he wasn’t able to get into the game. 6

    Mike Brown: The full-back continues to tidy up at the back and made a crucial tap tackle on Tommy Seymour. He was unlucky not to score in the first half when he lost his boot. 7

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