- 28 Sep 07, 10:09 PM
Paris - I was at the Parc des Princes on Friday night as England beat Tonga 36-20 to book a World Cup quarter-final date with Australia next Saturday, a repeat of the 2003 final.
Here’s how I rated each individual England player. See if you agree and let me know your own views.
Josh Lewsey – Solid last line of defence, one tackle stopping a Tongan try late on, and safe under high ball, but little penetration when he joined the attack. 6
Paul Sackey – Showed great awareness to dot down his first try from Wilkinson’s cross-kick in the nick of time, and superb pace to pick up and race 70m for his second, giving him four in two games. England have a real finisher. 8
Mathew Tait – Did some good work mopping up in defence in first half and came alive in attack in second, one slashing break, a good angled run for his try and another break up the left flank, only for a poor pass to spoil it. 7
Olly Barkley – Disappointing outing, with a couple of missed tackles, an aimless chip ahead and a sliced drop-goal attempt from 10m out. One break in first half but penalised for holding on. Replaced after 52 minutes. 4
Mark Cueto – Went looking for work and looked dangerous when he came off his wing into line, his break setting the platform for Tait’s try. Chased kicks well but one moment of indecision saw him concede a penalty for holding on. 6
Jonny Wilkinson – A mixed bag. Made a couple of big tackles but missed a vital one on Hufanga for Tonga’s try. Confidently drilled over two drop-goals but only landed four from seven at goal, which he won’t be happy about. 6
Andy Gomarsall – Another assured outing for England’s renaissance man, providing a sterling service, intelligent kicking game and brilliant pressure at the base of Tonga’s back-pedalling scrum. 7
Andrew Sheridan – Had the Tongan scrum in all sorts of trouble with his power, keeping them on the back foot, and several charges with ball in hand. Another encouraging outing. 7
George Chuter – Found his men superbly all night at the line-out, with only one throw missing its target, and plenty of energy in the loose, one untimely knock-on aside. 7
Matt Stevens – Another strong scrummaging display, made some important tackles and his charge set in motion England’s opening try. Justified his selection ahead of Vickery, who replaced him after 56 minutes. 7
Steve Borthwick – Reliable source of possession at the front of the line-out, and did his bit to disrupt the Tonga line-out. Showed up well in the loose too, providing some ballast around the fringes. 7
Ben Kay – Led England out on the occasion of his 50th cap, and won all his own ball in the middle of the line-out, and disrupted plenty of Tonga’s throws. Tackled well and safe hands around the park. 7
Martin Corry – One missed tackle might have been costly but otherwise put in his usual hard shift, making tackles and hitting rucks, and came into game more with ball in hand before trooping off with 15 minutes left. 6
Lewis Moody – In the wars after throwing himself around with usual lack of concern for personal safety, requiring treatment three times after catching a boot in the face early on, and victim of a head-on tackle from Nil Latu. But showed up well. 7
Nick Easter – Another solid outing, claiming re-starts, providing ballast off the base of a dominant scrum without showing complete authority yet. Fortunate to get away with ill-advised chip and gather, and moved to blind-side for last 15 minutes. 6
Andy Farrell – Came on for Barkley after 52 minutes and provided some direct running and good passing, capping an impressive cameo with his first England try, when he dummied his way through and powered over from 10m out. 7
Phil Vickery – Embraced Stevens as he replaced him after 56 minutes but the captain may have to kick his heels a while longer on the bench. 6
Lawrence Dallaglio – Came on for Corry just in time to help celebrate Farrell’s clinching try. Kept things steady at the base of the scrum. 6
Lee Mears – First taste of World Cup action, and one pirouette out of a tackle and break will have pleased him and the coaches. 6
Dan Hipkiss – Replaced Sackey for the final 13 minutes, and saw little action. 5
Peter Richards – Came on for a hobbling Mark Cueto for last eight minutes, posted at centre but too little time to make an impression.
Not used: Joe Worsley – Had to do a solo work-out when everyone else had left field
Bryn Palmer is the BBC Sport website’s rugby union editor.