The second week of the Autumn Internationals passes and the Eddie Jones machine keeps on rolling with a 30-6 win over the in-form Wallabies, Saturdays game was hardly the slickest of performances from the men in white and luck was certainly on their side, but you know what they say, you make your own luck in this game. The score line definitely flattered England but the record books will not show the Australian disallowed try or whether Elliot Daley’s try touched the side line, they will just show a comfortable win for the world’s second best team. Let’s break it down and have a look at each player’s individual ratings.
15 Anthony Watson, 7/10 On a very tough day for fullbacks he was decisive and forthcoming, Watson took some great high balls even though England failed to capitalise on their counter attacking chances. Looks a natural at 15 and Mike Brown will find it tough to regain his shirt for next year’s Six Nations.
14 Jonny May, 7/10 Kept up his incredible try scoring ratio for this year and showed his lightening turn of pace to set up Danny Care’s try. Still a bit naïve in areas, namely the penalty he gave away chasing down Kurtley Beale 10 metres from the Australian line, but a solid enough showing.
13 Jonanthan Joseph, 7/10 Defended well against the massive Australian centre pairing and was adequate enough going forward considering the conditions. Showed a good turn of pace for the decisive try. Has probably done enough to secure the 13 shirt for the Six Nations.
12 Owen Farrell, 7/10 Although probably a quiet game for his lofty standards the Saracens man did all his duties well. As usual, brilliant off the tee and more than able defensively but what makes Farrell indispensable are his leadership qualities, he can always be seen cajoling his team to do better. Without a doubt a future England captain, but when?
11 Elliot Daly, 6/10 Never going to be a stellar day for the back three with the conditions being what they were but Daly put in a good shift, chased kicks well and never shirked his defensive duties. Still not entirely sure what position is best for the Wasp’s utility player, I just hope he doesn’t become a victim of his versatility like Austin Healy did.
10 George Ford, 6/10 Marshalled England well and his tactical kicking was very good and key to England’s game plan. Always looks more capable in better conditions but by no means looked bad. The Farrell/Ford combo is the lynchpin of all the Red Rose do going forward and will definitely be the 10/12 going forward to the next World Cup.
9 Ben Youngs, 7/10 Kept the tempo high with quick tap penalties and long kicks into space. Always seems to play well against Australia and keeps them honest around the rucks with his darts around the fringes. Looks to be Jones’ number one pick at scrum half and don’t see that changing in the near future.
1 Mako Vunipola, 6/10 Not up to last week’s lofty standard but still a decent outing from the loose head prop. His scrummaging was solid and put a good shift in around the park but I think I’ve come to expect too much from the Saracen’s man.
2 Dylan Hartley, 7/10 One of the best performances from the England captain in a while. As always he was solid in the set piece and put some great hits in defensively to dislodge the ball from the Australian grip. Makes good decisions as captain but how long will have the role?
3 Dan Cole, 6/10 Dependable Dan, very rarely puts a foot wrong without setting the world alight. Looked to have the edge over Scott Sio in the scrum. Any of the young guns looking to succeed Cole will have to hit the standards he has set, which are very high.
4 Joe Launchbury, 8/10 Showed Eddie Jones what the Wasps fans love to see week in week out. Carried well and was twice involved in a move that should have resulted in a try in the first half. Always seems to be supporting on the shoulder of any attack and must be hardest working player in World Rugby.
5 Courtney Lawes, 8/10 Was moved to be blindside rather earlier than expected after the premature removal of Sam Underhill but didn’t look out of place. Destructive in defence with a couple of trademark hits but has added another dimension to his game with his ball carrying. A world class partnership with Launchbury.
6 Chris Robshaw, 7/10 Like Launchbury, just never stops grafting, made his home at 6 these days but was switched to the openside early on. Great cover tackle to stop an Australia try and always put his hits in. not quite at the same level as the great Richard Hill but certainly in the same mould.
7 Sam Underhill, 5/10 Never got chance to show us what he could do. Feel sorry for the young lad as it would have been a great showcase against the much more attacking Michael Hooper.
8 Nathan Hughes, 6/10 Not his best outing as was not as good as he was last week, but always willing to run into brick walls for the cause and didn’t stop working until he replaced. I’m sure the conditions played a part in this.
Jamie George 6 (Dylan Hartley) kept the energy up when introduced Joe Marler 6 (Mako Vunipola) solid if unspectacular Harry Williams 6 (Dan Cole) closed out the game well Maro Itoje 7 (Sam Underhill) came on early and was the usual pain in the arse to the opposition attack, messed up a good attack by crabbing Sam Simmonds 6 (Nathan Hughes) didn’t have too much time to make the impact he wants Danny Care 8 (Ben Youngs) brilliant when brought on and sparked everything that was good for England in the last quarter Henry Slade 5 (Jonathan Joseph) not enough time or ball to make any impact Semesi Rokoduguni n/a unused sub
whatever we thought about yesterday’s performance you cant grumble at a 24 point win over Australia. England still aren’t the finished article but I genuinely cant wait to see them take on New Zealand next year. Thank you for reading Gain Line Rugby and let us know in the comments what you think and what we got wrong.