Jonathan 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.
— Blood & Mud Rugby (@bloodandmud) November 11, 2017
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