England player ratings: Ben Earl magnificent once again as Red Rose edge into the Rugby World Cup semi-finals

Colin Newboult
Ben Earl and Owen Farrell for England.

Ben Earl and Owen Farrell for England during Rugby World Cup clash with Fiji.

Following a tight 30-24 victory over Fiji in the Rugby World Cup clash at the Stade de Marseille on Sunday, here are the player ratings for England.

15 Marcus Smith: As Steve Borthwick predicted, Fiji didn’t test his aerial skills, but Smith didn’t really cut loose. Conceded one penalty when trying to counter, but he did mop up well at times and that extra pair of eyes helped Owen Farrell. 6

14 Jonny May: Does a job but not the pace of old to really be a threat. England need more out wide for them to challenge their opponents next weekend. 6

13 Joe Marchant: A good display from the centre. Finished well for his try and was a threat when he got the ball. Also defended well against Fiji’s dangerous centre pairing. 7

12 Manu Tuilagi: Probably his best outing at this World Cup, on both sides of the ball. Showed his power in attack and also put in some vital hits defensively. 7

11 Elliot Daly: More of a threat than May and made some indents in the Fijian defence, while also being a useful kicking option. 7

Captain answers critics

10 Owen Farrell: A couple of missed kicks but it was probably England’s best attacking performance of the tournament, with Farrell directing operations excellently. Still wince when he tackles so upright but got away with it this time. 8

9 Alex Mitchell: The scrum-half helped to produce a more fluid attack with slick service, while his kicking was good throughout his time on the field, but there were some bad decisions in the Fijian half. 6

8 Ben Earl: Has been England’s best player in this tournament and was once again superb here. Magnificent in every facet. 9

7 Tom Curry: Conceded a couple of penalties but put himself about and was at plenty of rucks making himself a nuisance. Still searching for top form, however. 6

Colossal Courtney

6 Courtney Lawes: Absolutely vital for this Red Rose outfit because of his lineout and breakdown work. One of their primary carriers as well. A colossus in Marseille. 9

5 Ollie Chessum: Great first half, a mixed second, especially his missed tackle on Semi Radradra which gave the momentum for Fiji to eventually level matters. 6

4 Maro Itoje: Getting back towards his best with a series of vital interventions. Disrupted Fiji in both set-piece and the loose. 8

3 Dan Cole: Didn’t make any impact in the scrum, which will concern Borthwick looking ahead to next week. When Cole is not doing that, he offers very little else. 5

2 Jamie George: An incredible shift to go the full 80, but they need to start trusting Theo Dan because he will probably be needed next weekend. 7

1 Ellis Genge: Negated in the set-piece and too static when receiving the ball in the carry, which prevented him from making an impact. Not his best tournament. 5

Replacements: Not much to write home about. Some good defensive interventions from Danny Care, but Kyle Sinckler came on to immediately concede two penalties. The best was youngster George Martin, who added real impact in the final 10 minutes. 5

READ MORE: Owen Farrell drop goal helps England edge fantastic Fiji to book Rugby World Cup semi-final spot