As Sunday dawns and the hangovers well and truly kick in we sit and contemplate England’s lacklustre performance, here’s our players rating on what we saw.
15 Mike Brown, 6/10 Didn’t have a lot of time to make a huge impact but while he was on he didn’t make a mistake. Looked as solid as always under the high ball, and there was plenty to go for. Left the field with a quarter of the game gone after landing on his head when taken out in the air. With previous concussion problems it was always best to err on the side of caution.
14 Anthony Watson, 7/10 Got his chance at fullback, though not in the circumstances he would have liked, and did himself no harm. As Brown, he looked safe under the high ball and his dancing feet and speed over the ground made him a constant threat to the Argentines if they didn’t kick well. May well keep the number 15 shirt for the rest of the Autumn games.
13 Jonathan Joseph, 6/10 Looked like could spark something early on but really faded quite fast. Eddie has concerns that he doesn’t impose himself on the opposition enough, physically, and there was no suggestion that he was wrong yesterday. No the powerful carrier England needed yesterday with the two play makers inside.
12 Henry Slade, 6/10 Didn’t really click alongside George Ford. Hasn’t played much at 12 and looked so much more comfortable when he got his chance at 13. Glimpses of his quality throughout the game though and set up Semesi Rokoduguni for his try. Definitely has an international future but just not sure in what position.
11 Elliot Daly, 6/10 Hardly got a sniff in this game with very little attacking ball. When he did get the ball he seemed to be running down a blind ally. This is most likely down to England being too lateral in their attack. All in all a very quiet game but not really his own doing.
10 George Ford, 6/10 Like Slade had a few glimpses of quality dotted throught he game and non-better than the long pass to set up Nathan Hughes’ try. Couldn’t really click with the Exeter centre but that doesn’t mean they won’t in the future. His goal kicking has always been a concern and highlighted the importance of Owen Farrell to the team.
9 Ben Youngs, 6/10 Another back hitting the magic 6/10.didnt do much wrong but was a long way from the standard he managed last Autumn where he was probably England’s brightest back. Hasn’t played International rugby since the Six Nations so this could be a possible reason for his sluggish performance,
1 Mako Vunipola, 8/10 By far and away England’s top performer yesterday. Did all his tight work well, hit every ruck he had to and really showed us a masterclass from a prop in defence but what really set the big man apart was his link up play. Often finding himself at first receiver in attack the Saracens man’s pull back pass to release the backs was a marvel. Very well played!
2 Dylan Hartley, 6/10 A pretty average performance from the England captain. Threw well at the lineout and was his usual industrious self at the breakdown. Always relishes a battle and certainly had his hands full with Augustin Creevy. Didn’t do much wrong but as a lot of the England team, just looked a little…under par.
3 Dan Cole, 6/10 Again, did little wrong. Scrummaged well and managed a few carries but this game was crying out for a big ball carrier to hit the gain line, can’t help thinking Kyle Sinckler would have bought that to this game.
4 Courtney Lawes, 7/10 Has really improved his carrying game since Jones took over and on multiple occasions yesterday he tried to show this, constantly offering himself as an option. Defensively he was usual destructive self, he really does have incredible technique for such a tall man.
5 George Kruis, 5/10 Really lacking in any sort of go forward in this game, unlike his second row partner, just never seemed to get amongst it. A poor performance by his standards and with the quality available to England at lock I think he’ll be lucky to regain his spot next week.
6 Chris Robshaw, 7/10 Never lacks effort and workrate, he is the type of old fashioned flanker that just tirelessly works hard for his team and gets little of the plaudits. Had a good early run from Lawes’ pass and all round had a very solid game. Definitely benefitted from playing with a proper openside opposite him in the back row.
7 Sam Underhill, 8/10 Couldn’t have done much better in the back row, very close to Mako in terms of performance and I’m very excited to see him take the openside role on in future. Every tackle he made he was low and driving the player back, also did well in the rucks, slowing down the Argentine ball. Will definitely want to remember his first home cap for England.
8 Nathan Hughes, 7/10 Not a bad day out for the big Wasps number eight, got the crowd out of their seat with his superb juggling skills and step for his try. Continues to look good at the back of the scrum and will hopefully be real competition for Billy Vunipola when he’s fit.
Replacements Jamie George 6 (Hartley, 59) tried to add a little pace to the game Ellis Genge 6 (Vunipola, 68) a couple of good carries from the Leicester man Harry Williams 6 (Cole, 68) solid home debut for the young prop Joe Launchbury 6 (Kruis, 57) had little impact but I feel he may get more of a chance to shine next week Sam Simmonds 6 (Hughes, 71) didn’t have enough time to show us what he can do Danny Care 7 (Youngs, 62) looked lively and sped things up Alex Lozowski 8 (Joseph, 62) looked to the manor born at Rugby HQ, quality line break Semesi Rokoduguni 7 (Brown, 22) not sparkling all game but took his chance well when it came his way
Obviously these are only our opinions here at Gain Line Rugby so tell us in the comments if you think we’ve been too generous or a bit harsh and let us know your opinions on the weekends action.