By Anna Muir |
Final Score: England 18 – Ireland 7
A ferociously physical English side defeats a confounded Irish outfit in the second round of the Autumn Nations Cup.
1. Mako Vunipola – 8/10
Solid from the prop. Gargantuan in the scrum and dominant throughout the pitch.
2. Jamie George – 7/10
Good but not quite the performance we saw from him last week. Also lost a line out and seemed to smile at that. Odd.
3. Kyle Sinckler – 7/10
Good but mostly quiet. Not quite the performance we’re used to seeing from him.
4. Maro Itoje – 9.5/10
Massive. Phenomenal. Man of the match. On every Irish player like a really bad rash. Charged down everyone, was tackling like it was his last chance to do so and just seemed to be everywhere. Had a crucial turnover when Ireland seemed sure to score a try and made it seem easier than taking candy from a baby. Immense performance.
5. Joe Launchbury – 6.5/10
Had a very good first half where he seemed to be tackling anyone in his sights and had a stunning turnover too but then started slipping and gave away a few penalties.
6. Tom Curry – 7.5/10
A consistent performer from a man proving that he deserves his place on the starting team. All over the shop and disruptive as per usual. Contributed to the massive 63 tackles made by the back row and none missed. Huge.
7. Sam Underhill – 8/10
Thought he randomly snuck in a try when he suddenly showed up on camera with the ball over the line but no such luck. Otherwise, hugely impressive around the pitch and was stuck in. Relentless in defence. Another one of the big performances in the back row, contributing to the 63 tackles made and none missed.
8. Billy Vunipola – 6.5/10
Probably the weakest performance in a massively impressive English forward pack. Just didn’t have the wow factor which is odd to say with a player of his calibre.
9. Ben Youngs – 7/10
Also good. Quickly into the rucks, accurate with his passes. Nothing more you could ask for.
10. Owen Farrell (c) – 7.5/10
Excellent at running this tight England ship but had a few too many penalties for a captain. Needs to be careful with it. However, also kicked for 8 points and was accurate.
11. Jonny May – 9/10
Sensational. Scored both of England’s tries and one of them was the try of the year. Awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping. May was also twisting and turning around the pitch like he was playing Tetris.
12. Henry Slade – 8/10
Huge number of points for his defensive effort in holding up a sure fire Irish try in the second half. Also had some great offloads, especially one to release Joseph on the wing. Good performance from the Exeter Chiefs man.
13. Ollie Lawrence – 6.5/10
An okay performance. He had some cracking tackles but wasn’t too much of a threat in attack.
14. Jonathan Joseph – 7/10
Good. Had the dancing feet and tried to create some opportunities in attack but not too sure the wing is the best position for him.
15. Elliot Daly – 8/10
An assured performance from the fullback. Kicked well, defended well, supported well, did everything very well. Seems much more comfortable with his position now more than ever.
John Mitchell – 10/10
Defence coach for England and deserves all the praise. Ferocity has been planted by him and England are reaping their rewards.
1. Cian Healy – 8.5/10
It’s very rare that this man has a bad game so no surprise that this game was no different. Great in the scrum and great around the pitch, smashing English players like they were avocados on an influencer’s morning toast.
2. Ronan Kelleher – 4/10
Unfortunately, when line outs are going as horrendously as they did for Ireland in this game, you’ve got to look at the hooker and the line out caller. It was his overthrow that led to the wonder try by May. Poor.
3. Andrew Porter – 6.5/10
Usually a key Irish player but just quiet today.
4. Quinn Roux – 4/10
A performance to forget for him. Gave away a ridiculous number of penalties, one of which was inexcusable. Grabbed Tom Curry by the neck in front of the referee. Thoughtless.
5. James Ryan (c) – 6/10
A mixed bag for the skipper. Some great carries that he fought to gain extra metres and swung momentum Ireland’s way, but giving away enough penalties to negate the positive elements to his game. Just seemed to be trying too hard to prove he’s worthy of his new role as captain. Needs to do better in the future.
6. CJ Stander – 4/10
Didn’t even know he was on the pitch. Seems he borrowed Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak and didn’t take it off until the camera was trained on him as he was subbed off. Poor.
7. Peter O’Mahony – 6.5/10
A player you expect more from. Had some great carries but was giving away juvenile penalties.
8. Caelen Dorris – 5/10
A very subdued performance. Didn’t do anything well but didn’t do anything bad either. Neutral.
9. Jamison Gibson-Park – 6.5/10
Actually a pretty okay performance from the scrum-half. Had some great little kicks but just made a few too many mistakes to give him anything higher. Also knocked down another half point because his replacement seemed to have an immediate impact.
10. Ross Byrne – 6.5/10
Had some flashes of a great performance but also deducted points because his replacement had a bigger impact when he came on.
11. James Lowe – 8.5/10
Arguably Ireland’s best player on the pitch. Was a problem every time he had the ball in hand and his kicks were perfectly weighted. A player to watch, that’s for sure.
12. Bundee Aki – 6.5/10
A shadow of the threat he used to be but still seemed a little bit above the players around him.
13. Chris Farrell – 7/10
Solid performance. Some great carries and runs and was good in defence. Solid amidst a struggling Irish side.
14. Keith Earls – 8/10
Stand out performance from Earls with some phenomenal runs and takes. Unlucky to not score a try.
15. Hugo Keenan – 7.5/10
Also a mixed bag from the fullback. Seemed really confident with his kicking but also had a very odd slice straight into touch. A little shaky in defence.
Stockdale, Murray and Burns all deserve huge kudos for their performances off the bench. Burns’ chip to Stockdale led to a brilliant try and Murray was all over the rucks when he needed to be.