- 14 Sep 07, 10:12 PM
I was at the Stade de France on Friday as England's World Cup campaign was blown to smithereens by a dominant South Africa, who crushed the defending world champions 36-0.
Here's how I rated the individual England players' performances. See what you think and let us know what you made of the performance.
Jason Robinson – Bravura display on his return to full-back. Safe under the high ball, a threat when attacking from deep, one run past four Springboks a reminder of his best days. Pulled hamstring ended his night, but a deserved ovation as he departed. 8
Josh Lewsey – Solid in defence, getting up quickly on Habana, one try-saving tackle on Jaque Fourie stopped further damage in the first half. Little opportunity in attack, and resigned kick into touch late on betrayed his despair at the situation. 6
Jamie Noon – Worked tirelessly in defence, making his fair share of tackles, but hardly had the ball in his hands as it rarely strayed beyond Catt and Farrell until the last quarter. 5
Andy Farrell – One kick charged down but otherwise solid with kicking from hand; ran hard but could not conjure space for those around him. Didn’t have a single chance to show his goalkicking prowess, the subject of so much debate beforehand. 5
Paul Sackey – Got little change out of JP Pietersen, opting to cut back inside on the few occasions he had the ball. Looked hesitant in his running, and not wholly convincing in defence either. 4
Mike Catt – Hasn’t played at 10 in a Test since 1999 and struggled badly. Kicking from hand lacked depth and accuracy, missed several kicks to touch and a straightforward drop-goal attempt when it was 10-0. 4
Shaun Perry – Disappointing. Missed vital tackle on Pietersen in build-up to Boks’ opening try, kicked one out on the full, a couple of loose passes, and did not provide the control at the base of the scrum required. Replaced by Gomarsall at half-time. 3
Andrew Sheridan – Appeared to be imposing himself over Botha at scrum-time, helping win several free-kicks from the Boks, but rarely seen with the ball in hand until a charge in the final quarter. 5
Mark Regan – Tried to vary his throwing at the line-out to avoid the Boks predators, but it was a struggle when he went short or long, resorting to safe option in middle. Toiled manfully but replaced by Chuter before the hour. 5
Matt Stevens – Held his own at scrum-time against Os du Randt, and expended plenty of energy defending round the fringes. Blotted his copybook by conceding a needless penalty at a ruck, which was duly punished by Montgomery. 6
Simon Shaw – A reliable source of possession at the line-out, and put in his fair share of tackles, but unable to make much headway against a dominant Springboks pack. 5
Ben Kay – Got through a pile of work, keeping the line-out functioning reasonably well until the end, but was turned over in possession before Pietersen’s try, and why he opted to try a chip kick when five metres from the line, only he knows. 5
Martin Corry – Toiled manfully as always, making plenty of tackles and taking the ball up when he could, but must have been a dispiriting experience for a proud warrior on his return to the captaincy. 5
Tom Rees – A major learning experience for the 22-year-old, who was powerless to influence proceedings against a dominant Springboks back-row, totally overshadowed by the peerless Juan Smith. Replaced by Moody after 53 minutes. 4
Nick Easter – Grew into the game after a shaky start at the base of the scrum, making yards with a few powerful charges, ploughing through Montgomery on one occasion. But not enough ball on the front foot to work with. 6
George Chuter – Replaced Regan for the last quarter, and put Ben Kay through a gap with one delightful offload. Solid at the set-piece. 6
Perry Freshwater – Only on for Sheridan for the last three minutes.
Steve Borthwick – Came on for Shaw as the last rites were being delivered.
Lewis Moody – Sent on after 53 minutes to try to stem the tide around the fringes but had little impact on proceedings. 5
Andy Gomarsall – Came on at half-time and scragged a couple of times in possession. Tried to keep his forwards going but a thankless task. 5
Peter Richards – Replaced Jamie Noon for a three-minute run-out in his old centre position.
Mathew Tait – Came on for the unfortunate Jason Robinson at full-back, and tried to provide a bit of spark, but kicking game doesn’t look up to the position. 4
Bryn Palmer is the BBC Sport website’s rugby union editor.