Australia 40 – 44 England: Player Ratings


15 Israel Folau – 7.5
Constant threat and impeccable under the high ball. His line to take pass off Toomua for his try was sumptuous.

14. Dane Haylett-Petty – 6.5
Has been a real find for Australia over the series and finally got his test try his performances deserved. Defensive weakness this week though.

13. Tevita Kuridrani – 6
Jonathan Joseph marked him out of the game and had very little impact in attack.

12. Matt Toomua – 7
Showed the Aussie public what they had been missing for whole series. Ball distribution excellent and assist for Folau’s try gains him extra marks for hand off on Billy Vunipola.

11. Rob Horne – 5.5
Needed to work a lot harder if he was going to have any threat on this game.

10. Bernard Foley – 7
Benefited from having Toomua outside him and really got the backline moving. Decent showing.

9. Nick Phipps – 5
Another torrid evening for Phipps. Youngs and the England back row were all over him from the start.

1. James Slipper – 6.5
Early penalty conceded at the scrum but otherwise pretty solid. 15 tackles is an impressive haul.

2. Stephen Moore – 6
Lineout throwing was put under severe pressure and his overthrow that almost lead to a Chris Robshaw try would have been unforgiveable.

3. Sekope Kepu – 6
A couple of strong carries and had a hand in one of the first half tries but an erratic display in the scrum.

4. Will Skelton – 6
Huge involvement but his willingness and passion wasn’t always best placed from an Aussie point of view as he looked to rile his opposition.

5. Rob Simmonds – 6.5
A big loss for the Wallabies at half time. Was having a barnstorming game as he made a few clean breaks.

6. Scott Fardy – 6.5
Under the radar as usual next to Michael Hooper but in no way less effective.

7. Michael Hooper – 7
He doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses as his attack is scarier than his defence at the breakdown at times.

8. Sean Mcmahon – 7.5
14 tackles and some barrelling runs through the middle. England struggled to contain him for the whole match.

Substitutes – 6
Little or no impact other than Naiyaravoro’s late consolation try.


15. Mike Brown – 6
Took his try well but his decision making is still under massive scrutiny. Persistently put the Red Rose under pressure unnecessarily.

14. Anthony Watson – 7
A quiet series in general but looked his most threatening this weekend. Lovely chip ahead for the Brown try.

13. Jonathan Joseph – 7.5
We haven’t seen the best of him in attack but his defence against Kuridrani across the series but especially this weekend has been exemplary.

12. Owen Farrell – 9
Distribution was crisp and clinical, big defensive effort and his coolness under pressure is an incredible weapon for England to have. Man of the match by a distance.

11. Jack Nowell – 7
A real mixed bag. Overpowered in defence but surprisingly made the same number of metres as Folau. Catch to stop a certain try against Folau gains him extra points.

10. George Ford – 8
What a difference to the man that played against Wales. His tactical kicking relieved pressure but is now a real attacking threat as well.

9. Ben Youngs – 7
Came back well from an early fumble metres from his own line and his clearance kicking relieved pressure admirably.

1. Dan Cole – 7
Scrummaged well after early penalty and nice supporting line for his early try but his late hit on Foley was lucky to go unpunished by either a card or three points on the scoreboard.

2. Dylan Hartley – 6.5
Quiet game from the skipper as the tour finally took its toll. Solid lineout that was at times under pressure.

3. Mako Vunipola – 7.5
Billy is not the only Vunipola thriving under Eddie Jones. 15 tackles and some really positive carries shows Mako’s all round game is constantly improving.

4. Maro Itoje – 7
Moved to the backrow after 30 minutes and certainly made his presence felt. Nuisance at the breakdown getting those long legs in and around the ball to disrupt.

5. George Kruis – 6.5
A quiet game by Kruis’ standards in the loose but made a lot of tackles and put pressure on Moore at the lineout.

6. Chris Robshaw – 6.5
Quietest game so far but still grafted away for 55 minutes before his legs just couldn’t run anymore.

7. Teimana Harrison – 5
Overawed by the whole occasion and a victim of Eddie Jones’ ruthlessness when subbed after 30 minutes.

8. Billy Vunipola – 6.5
Fantastic in attack but very poor in defence as he slipped off a number of tackles, some of which cost England dearly.

Substitutes – 7
Jamie George is becoming a very useful impact sub but Jones himself deserves an extra point for making the back five in the pack so big and powerful to combat the Aussie runners.

Andy Daniel

47 thoughts on “Australia 40 – 44 England: Player Ratings

  1. Fully agree on all these scores, but have to point out you have Cole and Mako the wrong way round.

    One question I have to start a discussion. For whatever reason Eddie doesn’t seem to think Goode is what he wants from his full back. With Brown’s form dipping in and out of games and, as pointed out here his decision making a little questionable at times, who would people like to see replace Brown at 15?

    Personally I think if we are going to continue with the Ford/Farrell axis I would like to see Watson at 15. He would get more of the ball and also allow a big ball carrier like Yarde to come into the team.

    1. Personally I’d want to have a look at Watson, and also Daly.

      Both seem to be good positionally. Daly has a better kicking game and is better in defence, but Watson is better under the high ball. The key thing (that Brown and Goode both lack), both are absolute wheels.

      1. Posted below before I saw your response, Jacob. Good to know that Daly is considered solid in defense – I really think he could be a potent threat at FB.

    2. Agreed, I think Watson at full back is certainly worth having a look at. Would need to keep the Ford/Farrell access though, or if one drops out for whatever reason, bring in another playmaker at 12/13 (here’s hoping Slade regains the edge he seems to have lost after his injury) in order to keep distribution and width. Daly could be another option at 15 – wonderful counter-attacking and having someone with his penalty range on the pitch could be useful. Don’t know enough about his defense/positioning at full back though. More generally, now that Eddie is on such a winning streak, when is going to be able to tinker with the squad? He’s a bit damned if he does (and loses), and damned if he doesn’t (case in point Brown, who looks off the boil, plus some of the pack aren’t getting any younger and may be past their peak by 2019). Maybe against Fiji?? Always risky though.

      Shame we’re not playing the ABs this autumn.

      1. Maybe it is a good job we have some easier games in the Autumn where Eddie can do exactly the sort of tinkering that you want but are loath to do against stronger oppo

      2. What members of the pack would you say would be too old for 2019? Personally think the pack is extremely young?

        1. Haskell, Robshaw and Hartley spring to mind. All 30+ now so 33 or 34 by the time of the next WC. They could well still be going strong, but it seems like a risk, especially with such strong younger candidates pushing for selection. All playing exceptionally well at the moment though so can see how it would be difficult for Jones to justify switching it up. The Teimana Harrison experiment at the weekend proved that, unfortunately (didn’t see the game – virtually impossible in the US with the time difference! – so basing that comment on match reports. Interested to know if others here thought he was truly that much of a flop?).

          Leon – good point, maybe that’s the answer. Still feel like tinkering against Australia and South Africa could be risky though.

          1. I didn’t notice Harrison do anything too awful but on reflection I think the point is I didn’t really notice him at all, and we were getting beaten up at the breakdown.

          2. Absolutely baffles me when people think forward in the 30s are past it – that’s their prime!

            Thinus Delport, on talking about Strauss being appointed SA captain, spoke about how at 30 he is about to come into his best years. I had this discussion on here in another chain last week, but forward play good rugby well into their late 30s, particularly in the front row.

            1. Jacob

              Time filling here, but wasn’t it SL who said that the ABs had 9 guys over 30 in their WC squad?

              Couldn’t understand then, or now, why he was making this pt.

              If they’re good enough, they’re good enough.

              And exp seemed to work ok for NZ, so perhaps age is relative.

  2. Man of the Match and England’s MVP…..WHO ELSE BUT Mr Owens who qualifies by British passport and two dodgy tries

    1. Oh shush
      What about Australia first try which should have been awarded as a knock on by both teams. Off an England hand went forwards into and Australian hand where it went back towards the England line

      Also whats the second dodgy try i understand the argument for the spidercam incident. Didn’t directly lead to the England score but was certainly a contributing factor. The major factor being Moores pants overthrow

  3. I have never seen before a linesman push a hooker who was throwing the ball in. May be he wanted his phone number? The sky cam was also just plain wrong like the morons who voted to Brexit.
    And what was that English Wally doing in a pub with Welsh tourists the night before he awarded his first ever forward pass? And of course it wasn’t. Same rort. Same British passport as the Welsh Wallies. Was it just pay back for missing an All Black forward pass in the last RWC? Unfortunately for the Village Idiots the Kiwis can even win when criminal lawyers from Yorkshire are running the game; post 2007. The linesman was the same Wally who sent Ioane off in the final of last year’s U20 final. Another shocker! And the TMO, poor old George Ayoub who was on a run, never before had he got two decisions right in a row, was over ruled.

    1. Aussie sledging did’nt work during the series so its hardly going to make a difference now. You lost. Suck it up and move along. Oh, and leave the politics out of it.

  4. Joseph’s defence has been excellent, but isn’t this the veiled criticism levelled at everyone’s favourite Saracens and until recently England centre? Allowing for the fact that collectively England were on the defensive this tour and JJ was an important part of that, he needs to start showing some attacking vibrancy in the Autumn.

    1. I dont think you can ever compare JJ to who I think you’re comparing him too. As you said, this has been a tour built on defence with a lot more emphasis on tackles than attack, which JJ has done very well against a big unit like Kuridrani. But in the past couple of years JJ has still been one of the most electric centres in England, and given the space, he can cause anyone problems.

      Daly might feel hard done by having had a good prem season yet not playing a great deal down under, but given JJ hasn’t put a foot wrong it would be harsh to replace him. I also don’t see how Daly could’ve added anything more in terms of attack.

      1. Agreed, they aren’t the same player at all (it was Barritt for the avoidance of doubt). JJ of a couple of years ago was an attacking marvel for club and country but he hasn’t shown that consistently for either for a little while now. Six Nations, probably World Cup included. It would be good to see him letting loose again at Twickers against opposition that should be quite accommodating.

        The BB/JJ comparison was simply that he can’t continue be picked for defensive ability without taking the same criticism as Barritt. He needs to show the other side to his game which he undoubtedly has.

        1. I think in fairness to JJ, him, Watson and Ford all needed this tour to get some of their confidence back. Bath played poorly all season, and these three were a major part of what was good about Bath the season before. The fact that JJ defended so well when previously we’d only seen his best in attack shows how far the team have come as a whole.

          Gustard has brought the “Wolfpack” mentality that he installed in the Saracens team to England and it’s benefitting the whole team. They’re playing for each other, defending for each other and they look better for it.

          1. With their defensive aspect of the game improving, imagine what an all-round marvel England would be with the back-line firing as it has done in the past.

            As well as Gustard’s input, Jones has really given them a killer mentality. I appreciate what Lancaster was trying to instil in the players following the behaviour during the 2011 world cup tour, but it seemed to leave England a bit soft. Now they show a real tenacity.

        2. Issue is perhaps that the current side just isn’t set up to get the best out of him – he was at his best in the 2015 6N when England were more explicitly looking to run the ball & he was outside a bigger 12 in Burrell who sucked in defenders. Ford was in better form then too, which helped put him through gaps. Even though he plays outside a smaller, playmaking 12 at club level in Eastmond, international level is different & to get the best out of him he needs that carrier at 12. If Ford & Farrell is the go at 10 & 12 for the future then they’d be better off bringing in Te’o or Tuilagi at 13 IMO. I’d quite like to see Jones make a decision between Ford & Farrell though – Ford at 10, Te’o/Tuilagi at 12, JJ 13, with one of Goode or, more intriguingly maybe, Mallinder at 15 (he’s said he’s looking to fast-track a couple of the U20s into the elite squad & you can bet Mallinder is one of them) is the way I’d be looking to go. At this point in time let’s develop Daly as a Barrett-esque impact sub too, able to make a difference at centre, FB or the wing.

          1. I like you’re thinking but I think Eddie will see Mallinder as an option at 12 outside Farrell? He is a big ball carrier but capable as a playmaker as well much like Devoto.

            I wonder who else he has his eyes on in the U20’s?

            1. He probably does – the lack of an opportunity at any point for Slade or Te’o on the tour suggests he wants to see more from them first and therefore might look to other centre options but full back is one of the areas of the team that needs refreshing in my opinion, and Mallinder has spent his time pretty evenly split between 12 and 15 this year at Saints. He’s quicker than Goode or Brown too so he’s a major counter-attacking weapon from the back as well providing another set of fly half skills on the park. Really wouldn’t be surprised to see him there at some point in the Autumn Internationals, and Haley will be in the mix too.

            2. I’d imagine Marchant, Johnny Williams and Will Evans will be on the radar

              All 3 also already have premiership experience

    2. I see what you’re getting at – but I don’t think Joseph has been as bad in attack as people have suggested.

      First test he made a good break, plus a few decent half breaks as well. Second test we didn’t touch the ball. Third test was probably his weakest, but again always works the defense.

      Certainly his defense has been better than his attack, but players like JJ can have quiet test matches as they are largely relying on other people to put them in space.

      That being said – would love to see more of Daly in the test arena come the AI’s.

  5. Worth noting they have been doing without an attack coach until Glen Ella joined them in Oz. If whoever is appointed to this role has the same positive effect as Gustard, Borthwick and Hatley have had in their respective roles then the autumn should be worth waiting for.

  6. Just read this in an article:

    Dwyer, who coached Jones at Randwick, has seen other areas of improvement. “England have been better at the fundamentals of the game,” Dwyer told ESPN. “Though there wasn’t a significant dominance in the set plays, England were better there in the scrum, lineout and kick-off receipts.

    Better in our scrums ??? but I thought we were cheating Mr Dwyer

    1. Surely you’re not suggesting that Mr Dwyer may been somewhat economical with the truth in order to try and influence the reffing of England’s scrum?

  7. Teimana Harrison looks under weight to me. He needs to bulk up to be a threat and clear out at rucks and mauls. Does anyone know his weight? If I’m wrong his mind wasn’t right!

    1. I believe he’s about fifteen and a half stones. He’s no lightweight (Hooper is only about Fourteen ten). Like others have said,I just think he was overwhelmed by the intensity of the wallabies at the breakdown. No shame in that. They may have targeted him too,knowing he hasn’t got Haskell’s sheer physicality. Personally.I would like to know what Kvesic has to do to get a run out.

    2. I don’t think he was getting blown out of the breakdowns, he just wasn’t present much at the breakdown. Maybe because he’s played a lot of 8 he didn’t adapt quickly enough to the role.

      Though for his style of play I think he will need to bulk up a bit for international rugby. Guys like Hooper and Tipuric have incredible pace and are so effective because they get there first. For a hard running, hard tackling ruck smasher he’d probably be better for adding a (lean) stone.

  8. Agree with Teecee and Leon about the refereeing! Owens was spot on.
    What always staggers me is the amount of bias of the Aussie pundits! Has anyone on here (Claire included) how Aussie female pundits don’t even exist. Take it as fact that chauvinism is rife in Oz!
    Male (mostly ex-player) Aussie commentators need some northern hemisphere training in the art of PROFESSIONAL and objective commentating! Now that we have Brexited maybe we can more easily offer them some in-house training with the Beeb!

    1. Don’t see how Brexit is remotely relevant to that comment but nvm

      Owens was not spot on but was rather equally bad. Aus 1st try was a knock on both ways as ultimately the ball traveled forward off and Australian arm after being knocked forwards in the Tackle by England. Spidercam decision was probably wrong as well but is less clear cut in the rule book.

      As for the supposed push on Moore at the lineout it seems BS to me.

  9. Answer about Brexit:
    Commonwealth workers/immigrants wanting to live and work here, believe it or not, were discriminated against by Brussels.
    Had you not heard the controversy over the generic case of the Indian doctor (naturally wanting to come to his 1st choice destination – the uk) being passed over for the indiscriminate influx of lowly skilled Polish/Romanian/Latvian immigrants. The Indian (the generic example could of course refer to Pakistanis too) who was forced to stand by in Calcutta and watch less qualified non-Commonwealth citizens get carte Blanche!
    I’m sure you can tell in which box my vote went! (The one in favour of the Indian doctor just to head off any STUPID accusations of racism in here!)
    As for the whys and wherefores of the refereeing down under these things balance each other out over a match. It is because of the human element (the ref in fact) that they do! Had it been a different ref the result would have been the same after 80! it would have just been a different set of referee specific likes and dislikes that would have been espoused and rammed the players throats which in turn would have balanced themselves out in an age old natural cycle of sporting officialdom!

  10. Leon……you ask a question or make a query and you get an answer! Simple!
    Don’t then complain about its content.
    The cat and the spilt milk…..mmmm!

  11. Sorry no idea what nvm means! Was interpreted by me as a query albeit quite possibly incorrectly! No worries!

  12. Don’t agree with the criticism of Brown. He’s been England’s best 15 since Josh Lewsey who he’s arguably better than on the counter whilst being as solid in defence!
    His one failing is his inability to link up on the counter and throw a killer pass (Cullen of New Zealand was probably the best exponent of this)
    Under EJ he has the time to perfect this weakness and become one of England’s world class players.
    He is very upright when he runs (including when making a pass). It might not be such a bad thing if he threw his passes with more of an old fashioned sideways hip-swerve contributing greater accuracy and direction.
    David Duckham was a good example of this but most people will not know or have heard of that particular 70’s English legend!

    1. Alex. I think Brown has been great. But everyone in every position is open to scrutiny.

      I think Brown has been criticised as he has not met his own high standards. At one point he was the form 15 in the world. He is still playing well. But is nowhere near his peak.

      He always used to beat his 1st defender and never dropped a high ball. This has not been the case as of late. Though no one can ever say he is not playing with the utmost intensity.

      I think Jones needs to try someone else in his position as we need options there, if for nothing else in case of an injury to him.

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