England player ratings: Sam Underhill the star in excellent back-row effort as Red Rose scrape third

Colin Newboult
Sam Underhill in action for England v Argentina in the Rugby World Cup.

Sam Underhill in action for England v Argentina in the Rugby World Cup.

Following a 26-23 victory over Argentina in the Rugby World Cup bronze medal match at the Stade de France on Friday, here are the player ratings for England.

15 Marcus Smith: Got to love his commitment and he’s pretty skilful too, as he showed by setting up Ben Earl’s try. However, Smith struggled to influence the game after that and, like against Fiji, got some treatment from the Argentinian carriers. 6

14 Freddie Steward: A couple of good takes under the high ball but Argentina kicked pretty well to negate his threat aerially. 6

13 Joe Marchant: Just shows how little you’ve been involved in a game when a bit of footwork which got him five metres is a highlight. 5

12 Manu Tuilagi: A couple of big shots in the match and has become a reliable defender in that 12 channel, but didn’t have much ball to work with in attack. 6

Need to get Arundell involved

11 Henry Arundell: I mean, what was the point of him being there? England just didn’t give him the ball as he spent his evening chasing kicks. Such a shame. 4

10 Owen Farrell (c): Not his best match. Was superb against South Africa but the Red Rose didn’t have control of this match after the first quarter. His kicks were taken well by the Pumas back three and his grubbers through didn’t come off. Was solid off the tee, however. 6

9 Ben Youngs: England’s most capped male player bows out in winning fashion. His lack of game time showed here, however, as Youngs struggled to get tempo into the game while his kicking was inconsistent. A magnificent servant to his country though. 5

Outstanding back-row

8 Ben Earl: Another fine display in what has been a breakthrough tournament for the Saracens back-row. Scored his first international try on Friday and ubiquitous on both sides of the ball to complete a fine World Cup. 8

7 Sam Underhill: Hugely impressive on his return to the side. Underhill was utterly dominant in the tackle, won two turnovers and also carried pretty well too. 9

6 Tom Curry: Excellent on his 50th cap. Set the tone by winning a breakdown penalty early on and followed that up with a series of big hits. 8

5 Ollie Chessum: Did the hard work in defence but a pretty quiet evening from the lock. Is a physical presence so it would be good to see him with ball in hand a bit more. 6

Solid set-piece

4 Maro Itoje: Very good off restarts and also a threat at the lineout. One of England’s primary carriers, even if he was shunted backwards on occasion, while he was also prominent on defence. 7

3 Will Stuart: Solid in the set-piece and put himself about, but will need to do more to put himself in the tighthead frame going forward. 6

2 Theo Dan: Very much a mixed bag. Carried superbly, did well for his try, but that only came after his missed tackle led to Santiago Carreras’ score. Things to work on but the talent is very much there. 6

1 Ellis Genge: Tackled very, very hard and consistently shunted Argentinian players backwards. Led the defence alongside Underhill and Curry. 7

Replacements: Bevan Rodd was everywhere and also stood his ground in the scrum, while Danny Care was sharper than Youngs, but it was solid rather than specular from everyone else. 6

READ MORE: England hang on against Argentina to claim bronze at Rugby World Cup