Autumn Internationals 2017: England Player Ratings versus Argentina

Jonathan JosephJonathan Joseph’s expression sums it all up

Mako Vunipola – 7
Solid enough in the set piece, destructive in his numerous tackles and present in the loose. That the loosehead prop was awarded Man of the Match says plenty about the rest of the team.

Dylan Hartley – 6
Hit a few hard lines and nearly wrestled over for a try at one point, but calls for Jamie George won’t go away, and the rudderless performance won’t help his leadership credentials.

Dan Cole – 5
Seemed to give away a couple of the silly penalties that he appeared to have grown out of, which the kickers should have punished.

Courtney Lawes – 6
Has matured into a more complete player, and made no fewer than 24 tackles in the match. Perhaps not as intense as he usually is, and England could have benefitted from his improved carrying game, but should keep his place in the team and may be tried at blindside.

George Kruis – 5
Without Itoje, he struggles to perform his natural game. Pretty anonymous overall. Fewer carries than his second row partner, fewer metres made, and 2 penalties conceded.

Chris Robshaw – 6
Struggled to get into the game compared to normal. Fine, but nothing spectacular, and there are growing question marks about his ability to drag England onto the front foot – he carries the ball, but rarely makes much ground.

Sam Underhill – 7
A pretty good first outing at Twickenham. He buys into the aggressive blitz defence that England favour and made 21 tackles. Should have secured himself a run of games at openside, but conceded that silly penalty that made Eddie Jones throw his notepad.

Nathan Hughes – 7
A try and a few big carries, he was England’s go-to man to make some yards. Not his fault, but he needs somebody to help him on the workload front for him to operate at his best.

Ben Youngs – 5
Failed to spark anything, which you may have expected him to do more of given his relationship with George Ford. Also missed three tackles and made none!

George Ford – 7
Guided the ship well and was responsible for a wonderful pass out to Nathan Hughes for his try, which Hughes just about held onto. Not totally convincing from the tee, but had a reasonable afternoon.

Elliot Daly – 5
Given nothing to work with really. A classy operator when on top form, but seems a touch undervalued on the wing, and didn’t get a chance to contribute much to this game.

Henry Slade – 4
Such big things would have been expected. His defence was more than sound, but going forward his distribution was abysmal compared to normal. Wasted a few promising attacking opportunities with wayward passing, and the stats also show that he conceded three turnovers, which isn’t acceptable. I can’t figure out where he would fit in the starting XV.

Jonathan Joseph – 6
Defensively solid, as usual. Looked threatening on occasions with the ball, but needs more of it to really make an impact. Slade or Joseph at 13 is one of Jones’ key decisions this week.

Anthony Watson – 7
A few nice takes under the high ball and covered well for Mike Brown. Always looks set to beat the first defender, and could be given a run at full-back if Brown fails to recover for this weekend.

Mike Brown – 7
Safe and trusty in the air, as you’d expect. Looked one of the more energetic players until his removal from the field, and it’s harsh that he wasn’t given the opportunity to prove his naysayers wrong.

Bench – 7
The final try was created by Alex Lozowski, who came on and looked very lively, and finished by Semesa Rokodoguni. Replacements are perhaps the area in which England are most blessed, and they looked set to make a difference and take the game away from Argentina, but even that momentum faltered late on.

by Joe Large

15 thoughts on “Autumn Internationals 2017: England Player Ratings versus Argentina

  1. Can i ask is there a description/reference guide of some sort that defines a players ratings such as say 5 = satisfactory, 6 average etc or is it done on comparison to others? I know its a little random but the reason I ask is I would class a score of 7 as someone who had a good game for the majority of the 80mins, contributed well more than once and influenced well. I didn’t see this from Ford. Yes his pass led to the try but i think more credit to the size of Hughes hands and his juggling skills! Also if 5 = Satisfactory then Youngs should be a 4 max. Totally uninspiring.

    1. As the maximum seem to be 8 and the minimum 5, you might as well grade them:
      DROP NOW (4)
      Poor (5)
      Satisfactory (6)
      Good (7)
      Excellent (8)
      World Cup Winner (9)

  2. Yes, I like the idea of establishing a rating system, and it should be easier to stick to if we are just rating one team.

    Until now, the ratings process has been totally subjective, dependent upon whomever is writing them!

  3. Looks sensible to me Leon & based on that table I would mark down the following by one point: Robshaw, Hartley, Watson, Joseph, Ford, Brown & The Bench. Collective team performance 5. Satisfactory because of the win only. I do not think this is harsh at all. Some people will say Argentina not given enough credit, but I am sorry they are a poor team right now and there are no excuses here.

  4. Using these guidelines i would rate them as follows
    Mako – 7
    Hartley – 5
    Cole – 5
    Lawes – 6.5
    Kruis – 5
    Robshaw – 6
    Underhill – 7
    Hughes – 7
    Youngs – 4
    Ford – 6.5
    Daly – 5
    Slade – 4
    Joseph – 5
    Watson – 6.5
    Brown – 6
    Bench – 7

  5. Leon I’m loving your player score guide there and I’m going to suggest an added stipulation. Should the players position and the role they’re fulfilling be considered? If so I would say Mako and Hughes deserve an 8?

    I would also agree with Rugger80 that Ford is nowhere near a 7! One good pass does not warrant a score so high. I don’t remember him making any breaks or really creating much either?

    If T’eo is fit I would love to see a midfield of Faz, T’eo and Slade but, at the moment I would start with Ford, Faz and Daly in midfield. This would give Daly a chance to play in his favoured position and get May back on the left wing.

    I think what this game showed is that Hartley is not as good a captain on the field as he seems to be off it and. We missed Farrell’s leadership, Itoje’s work-rate, attitude and energy.

  6. Ratings on Slade too harsh. I’d give him and JJ a joint 5 for a combined centre pairing performance that couldn’t be split by a piece of paper.
    JJ is clearly being let off the hook here due to his credit in the bank from past performances.
    Leon’s rating (not Joe’s) would put JJ as GOOD and Slade POOR.
    What a myopic view.
    1. Slade gave Roko’s scoring pass which was not an easy one but the ref gave it and so end of. By definition it was therefore a great pass……why ?Because the try was given. Nothing else matters.
    The only 2 people on the pitch who knew absolutely were the touch judge (as S. Barnes pointed out) and Slade himself. The touch judge gave him the benefit of doubt or called it horizontal or backwards. If Slade knew otherwise i’m sure he’ll get it spot on next time (just to satisfy the moaners)
    2. JJ has past performance and experience whilst Slade had virtually none.
    3. Going forward Slade i’m sure will rise to the occasion (if allowed the 3-4 caps that Hughes and Brown to name just two players that were allowed time to gently settle in)
    3. Slade has virtually no previous (the WC at Twickenham against uruguay apart) and as JJ did nothing of note all match to merit his’star’ rating on here i give them 5 EACH. Thats a BEST rating.

    1. Alex, think we have discussed JJ v Slade previously ;)
      I think JJ overall contributed more to the team, he was defensively sound and made fewer mistakes.
      Slade was in the team to be a 2nd playmaker, a task which he didnt really fulfill. There were some good parts to his performance, but he couldve done more distributing and less taking into contact.
      Counter arguments to your points above:
      1) The pass was relatively straight forward no? Little pressure from the defender and he nearly butchered another opportunity.
      2) JJ isnt being scored for this game based on his past performances. He was better defensively than Slade, and made fewer errors. The past experience does, and should, count against Slade in terms of team selection. He is trying to displace JJ (as Ford and Farrell are both pretty much guarenteed).
      3. I hope he does, as you have said we need him firing and providing competition for the places. But he had a real chance to last weekend, maybe some hyperbole on here/by journalists, but he still could’ve done better.

      A win against Oz is crucial though, for momentum and morale, so i dont know if we will see Slade in the match day squad.

      1. Jake
        We can argue til the cows come home about THAT pass. The touch judge, the ref and I thought it was ok. Hence it was given. You are entitled to think it forward if you want.
        I prefer to give Slade a little more leeway/scope than you perhaps!
        Why? He is a good player playing for his 2nd time at Twickenham (1st was in WC 2 yrs ago). He has had a very roller-coaster ride with England (not all his fault…..a broken leg that was potentially career threatening…..eddie’s selection policy was slow to identify back up (i.e. no’s 2 and 3) amongst the girls/backs and the fact Slade is a victim of his own success at Exeter by being picked in more than 1 position.
        Personally i’d argue everything Slade did right was worth two in the bush for everything JJ did for that reason! I can’ t be any clearer….just give the lad a chance? A little nurture and England will be rewarded.
        I’d mark JJ DOWN for having what….40 odd caps now and having a shit one whilst Slade did little worse as a relative international rooky ( I gave a joint 5 for general co-dependent ineptitude with the ‘star’ player that is JJ earlier. I’d shine a bloody great light on JJ. His performances after Scotland in this years 6ns were average as was his Lions performance!
        No AB back of that many caps (JJ’s 40 odd) is allowed to have a frankly piss poor outing and survive to the subsequent game (in effect be rewarded for failure by playing again)
        This is English selectorial folly! CONSISTENCY of selection is required as well as the criteria for success (as intimated by Leon’s excellent scoring system) .
        JJ a 6! Ha i laugh in the face of adversity.

        1. Lets agree to disagree on the pass.
          I dont think anyone here is doubting Slade’s quality, but I think many, including myself, was expecting/hoping for a bit more from him. I dont think he is as green as you make out; yes he has only played a couple of times at Twickenham but he has been picked for England a few times now and has played on some of the biggest stages in club rugby.
          Again, I think you’re confusing criticism of one performance with a desire to drop him altogether. He should be given a chance but is the Australia game the time to do that? I dont think so.

          1. Fair enough said the wise man!
            A lot of pundits have been saying England will lose at least once before the WC. So i wouldn’t be fixated with securing a 100% winning track record either (though preferable). Even the ABs are learning to lose now and again! In fact losing can be a GOOD thing due to the reality check that immediately follows (coupled with the necessary improvement). For that reason i wouldn’t be scared of blooding Slade again in the fire and fury if the Aussie game. What better learning environment. No need for bubblewrap, cotton wool and cuddles!

  7. AlexD i would still mark Slade a point below JJ. I agree JJ should not be marked as a 6 (see my prior comments) but at the same time JJs best attributes are his pace and footwork over a short distance, but that only comes into play if your 10 and 12 are helping to create this, so some blame here to Slade & also Slade butchered a couple of passes and gave ball away. Most of the time in many of England games in 2017 JJ is receiving the ball static or in a crowded area and Houdini he is not! We saw against Scotland given the right space he is clinical. As for defense he is always sound. Put JJ in that Australian backline against Wales on Saturday he would have scored an 8 ranking!!

Leave a Reply