After a complete damp squib of a performance from England, the pressure is now on to come back strong next week and ensure that, following the disappointment of the World Cup final, England fans aren’t timidly waving goodbye to another tournament so soon after. Whilst some players had good moments individually, the collective performance was the worst since 2018. There were a multitude of factors for this, but individual errors proved very costly and this is reflected in the scores below.
15. George Furbank – 4
I was incredibly excited about seeing him in an England shirt and he should definitely get a run to show what he can do, but he had very little opportunity to showcase his abilities. He made some basic errors, albeit in tricky conditions. Under the high ball and in defence, he did a job, but never really convinced.
14. Jonny May – 8
Was well shackled for most of the game and struggled to make an impact. Defensively it wasn’t his strongest showing either. However, his magic dragged England back into the game and it would have been a lot worse without him.
13. Mani Tuilagi – 6
Went off injured early after making a relatively positive start. His physical ball carrying was dearly missed in the back line.
12. Owen Farrell – 3
My main concern with Farrell is that he is brilliant 4 games out of 5 and then goes completely missing for the other. This was the other. He made uncharacteristic errors and didn’t hold the defensive line together as well as normal. Would have been a lower score if it weren’t for his kicking.
11. Eliot Daly – 4
Apart from an excellent pass that opened up a small enough gap for May to exploit, he was kept very quiet. Mostly did his job under the high ball and in defence, but the couple of mistakes drags his score below the par-5.
10. George Ford – 5
Marshalled the game reasonably, but never fully controlled it with his tactical kicking in the way that he can. Defended well enough and a nice touch finder ensure that his score wasn’t as low as some others in the back line.
9. Ben Youngs – 2
Slow in service, lacked control, kicking wasn’t great, poor passing and a missed tackle that led to a try. I have always quite liked Youngs and when he is on song he can make England tick, but this showing proved that his best days are well in the past and another option is required.
1. Joe Marler – 7
England’s resident comedian wasn’t in the mood for joking around in the scrum or the tackle. He was one of only a few to stamp his authority on the game.
2. George – 5
Decent enough line out success rate considering the conditions. He was industrious without ever making a telling impact going forward or in defence.
3. Kyle Sinckler – 5
Solid in the scrum as you would expect and never one to shy away from the battle when tackling. However, England could have done with a bit more of his ball carrying ballast with our other options not on the field.
4. Mari Itoje – 5
Good in the line out as he managed a steal and to be a general nuisance. Led England’s pack well in defence and was able to stamp authority in the hit. Poor going forward. He never carried with any real intensity and coughed up ball.
5. Charlie Ewels – 4
Definitely worth giving him a go, but did not convince and with England’s wealth of talent in the second row, may not get many other chances. Spilled the ball and stealing a line out were his most memorable moments.
6. Courtney Lawes – 5
Powerful in defence, as you would expect from the human torpedo. Was all hustle with little bustle in his carrying. Always gives it his all no matter where he is picked, but flanker is not his best position and that was clear.
7. Sam Underhill – 6
Another who gave everything but got little change from his French counterparts. He didn’t managed to dominate the tackle or the ruck like he can.
8. Tom Curry – 4
Probably his weakest performance in an England shirt. England need a specialist 8 so that he can play in his best position. He didn’t have the brutal, rampaging runs that are expected. His qualities were nullified by the extra work he had to do in areas he is less comfortable in.
Bench – 7
The bench were a big reason England managed to gain a bit of momentum late on. Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie, George Kruis, Lewis Ludlam and Willi Heinz (minus his ridiculous knock on) all made a positive impact in the time they had. Jonathan Joseph was on early, but too often ran sideways and was easily restrained.
As a reminder, here are the vague definitions for each rating:
10 – World-class performance
9 – Excellent
8 – Very good
7 – Quite good
6 – Solid performance
5 – Average
4 – Off the boil
3 – Poor
2 – Very bad
1 – Horror show
What did you think? A fair reflection of a poor England performance?
By Joe Large