Player ratings: Owen Farrell leads by example

Date published: November 10 2018

Here’s our England player ratings following their 16-15 loss to New Zealand at Twickenham.

15 Elliot Daly: Eddie Jones said that during the week he bought Daly the LadyBird Book of full-back play, and clearly the Wasp has read it in detail. Much more assured in his decision making and option taking. 7/10

14 Chris Ashton: The splash hopped and skipped from puddle to downpour in a performance that will underline his reputation as one of the best finishers in the game. 7/10

13 Henry Slade: Quieter with ball in hand than last week, he nevertheless looked better in primary defence and his left foot openside kick option came in useful on a couple of occasions but he needs to seek work. 5/10

12 Ben Te’o: Despite his physical presence, Te’o will rue the missed tackle on Damian McKenzie that cost his side dearly before half-time. Otherwise, a solid but unimaginative shift. 5/10

11 Jonny May: Once someone who went off script, May has bolted a high rugby IQ onto his undoubted natural pace and agility. Getting better with each game he plays. 7/10

10 Owen Farrell: The lad is a rugby machine. So much stems from his leadership, commitment and work-rate and today was no exception as he used the weather conditions to his side’s advantage. His hit on Kieran Read could be heard in the press box. 8/10

9 Ben Youngs: His long pass to send Ashton splashing down in the corner was a moment of high quality vision. Getting back to his best. 6/10

8 Mark Wilson: The cragged Cumbrian carried on where he left off last week and matched the great Read in every aspect. The glue in England’s pack time and time again. 8/10

7 Sam Underhill: In a day with standing water on the pitch, the explosive Underhill resembled a human torpedo both in tackle and carry. Shades of Peter Winterbottom against the All Blacks in 1983 such were his heroics and he finished his non-try like Jason Robinson. England at last look blessed at seven. 9/10

6 Brad Shields: His work-rate up until this game had been admirable but without many key outcomes. This week, his performance was a lot more efficient and added a lot to the maul and contact area but his penalty count and tackle completion remains concerning. 5/10

5 George Kruis: The fact New Zealand’s line-out went long to the back from early on showed just how well Kruis pressured the All Blacks and his defence and carry held up well. 6/10

4 Maro Itoje: Relatively error free, tireless and combative, the mercurial Saracen stood toe to toe with the best. His speed off the defensive line was a key in England’s D and some of his shook the foundations of the stadium itself. 7/10

3 Kyle Sinckler: Still giving away a couple too many penalties in the set-piece, the burly Quin is a huge asset to England in carry and in their scramble defence but will rue his drop on the New Zealand line. 5/10

2 Dylan Hartley: Finally, Hartley puts in the performance to silence the press. A try-scoring outing for the skipper until his game came to a premature end. 7/10

1 Ben Moon: Like his head coach said, Moon is a man who goes down the mine and gathers coal – and this afternoon he found a rich seam indeed and towards the end, had the better of the Kiwi set-piece. 6/10


16 Jamie George: Whatever George added in the tight scrummage was lost in the line-out as two key steals for New Zealand against his wayward throws rocked England’s second-half effort and slowed their intent and removed any chance of maintaining pressure. A poor day. 3/10

17 Alec Hepburn: Looked a little more comfortable this week and immediately won his side a scrummage penalty. 5/10

18 Harry Williams: A man who looks more suited to being crew at a Megadeath concert, he moved heavy goods and carried in traffic just like the best roadies do. 5/10

19 Charlie Ewels: He’s quietly progressing into a very effective international player and looked at home charging around in an intense game. 6/10

20 Courtney Lawes: His hits were bigger than the Beatles and his offside was a marginal call. Great to have the Lion back. 6/10

21 Danny Care: Came on, upped the tempo, grubbered and sniped. It’s what he does, isn’t it? 6/10

22 George Ford: Threw a few wonderful dummies and really added a degree of impetus and vision. 6/10

23 Jack Nowell: No chance to contribute much of note in a fantastic game. 5/10

by James While