RWC 2019 player ratings – England vs New Zealand

by Anna Muir |

Final Score: England 19 – New Zealand 7

A determined England side beat the reigning champions New Zealand to reach their first World Cup final in 12 years.


1. Mako Vunipola – 8/10

Great hands. Reliable and powerful scrummaging. Thundering physicality. Just a great front row forward.

2. Jamie George – 7/10

Remained stoic in the line out until he overthrew and allowed Ardie Savea to score the first and only All Blacks try. He will be disappointed with giving that one away.

3. Kyle Sinckler – 8/10

A forward with the hands of a back. A great performance from him again both in attack and defence. Stayed strong in the scrum and kept his head.

4. Maro Itoje – 9.5/10

Named man of the match with very good reason. An absolute heathen in the maul, menace in the line out and a bone-cracking tackler. Very nearly perfect from the big man today.

5. Courtney Lawes – 8/10

2 line out steals for this long-limbed man. Great performance from him to prove why he has been picked over George Kruis. Kept England’s line out strong and tackles with ferocity.

6. Tom Curry – 9/10

Supreme. 21 years old and already a world class flanker. I don’t think the man can have a bad game in an England shirt. Forces turnovers left, right and centre. Unreal.

7. Sam Underhill – 9/10

An unbelievable shift today from the 23 year old. His tackle at 13-7 which saw him nail the youngest Barrett brother to shift possession was a thing of true beauty. A young talent with more to give.

8. Billy Vunipola – 7/10

Still not quite showing the form that we hope to see from such a crucial member of the England squad. However closer to it than he has been before. Carried well and managed to run over a few All Blacks.

9. Ben Youngs – 6/10

Too slow at the rucks to award him anything higher. Absolutely outclassed by his opposite number and needs to be better in the future. However, he was unlucky to have his try disallowed.

10. George Ford – 8/10

Perfect on the tee and a pretty good all around performance. Level headed when he needed to be and slotted over crucial penalties.

11. Jonny May – 6/10

Couldn’t go the full 80 due to a hamstring injury but before that, not much to talk about.

12. Owen Farrell – 7/10

An injury in the first half kept him quiet throughout the rest of the match but there is no doubt that his leadership is invaluable in the England squad. A key piece to the English puzzle.

13. Manu Tuilagi – 8/10

The magic man showed glimpses of his otherworldly performance against the All Blacks in 2012. Carried hard and was dependable in attack. His defensive effort was brilliant with some superb tackling throughout.

14. Anthony Watson – 8/10

Great footwork from a man who has done everything in his power to recover from a very serious injury. Looked just as good as he was before the injury which is a feat in its own.

15. Elliot Daly – 6.5/10

A better performance from the fullback but still not convincing from Daly. Missed a penalty (although the kick was from ore than 50 metres away so no harm done) and couldn’t quite create any real impact.

New Zealand

1. Joe Moody – 5/10

Not his day. Out scrummaged by his opposing number. Refused to bind on numerous occasions which aggravated the English pack.

2. Codie Taylor – 5/10

Lost two line outs and had no real impact in the scrum. Tough to mark when there’s nothing to go by.

3. Nepe Laulala – 5/10

Another front row forward that will want to burn this memory from his mind. Poor in the scrum which resulted in England penalties.

4. Brodie Retallick – 6/10

Ran well, gave NZ some options in attack but let himself down in the line out department.

5. Sam Whitelock – 6/10

Poor discipline from the usually calm lock. Again, contributed to a poor set of line outs.

6. Scott Barrett – 5/10

Brought in to bring another line out option to intimidate and dominate England but proved to have no effect at all. Not very threatening in the line out or around the pitch.

7. Ardie Savea – 7/10

One of the better forwards on the All Blacks side. Scored a try from an England line out success and was good in his basics.

8. Kieran Read – 7/10

A stalwart of the All Blacks game, captain Read was just okay to do. Nothing bad but nothing good either.

9. Aaron Smith – 6/10

Has been superb over the course of the tournament and had a relatively okay performance. Was quick in the ruck but just didn’t manage the game enough nor did he have enough possession to do any real damage.

10. Richie Mo’unga – 6/10

Slotted in to 10 brilliantly after Barrett was shifted to fullback however didn’t take the bull by the horns (the Farrell by the shoulder, if you will). On the losing side, a fly half rarely gets a good mark.

11. George Bridge – 5/10

Lukewarm from the explosive wing. Nothing to report really.

12. Anton Lienert-Brown – 5/10

Dominated completely by Farrell and Tuilagi, unable to make any lasting impact at all.

13. Jack Goodhue – 7/10

The man with the mullet was one of New Zealand’s best players on the day. The infamous mullet gains him a few brownie points too.

14. Sevu Reece – 6/10

Some good, threatening runs with the ball but just didn’t get too much ball in hand.

15. Beauden Barrett – 6/10

Not what we have become accustomed to from one of the world’s best players. Shifted from flyhalf to fullback relatively recently but that’s no excuse.

Also, big thank you to Kevin Bishop who is over in Japan watching the rugby! He is taking over the Falmouth Anchor Instagram account all weekend so go and check that out!