The most important thing was to come away with a win. England did just that and now can set their sights on back to back home games against title rivals. It was incredibly difficult to see just where we stand based on that game. The conditions were atrocious and it was difficult to stand out, but collectively England came through it. All of that is probably reflected in the ratings below.
15. George Furbank – 6
Dealt with all high balls very well indeed and chased with enthusiasm to try and regain the ball when England kicked it. Defended well when called upon. It was a shame that the game wasn’t one to allow him to showcase his attacking flair.
14. Jonny May – 6
See George Furbank’s comments.
13. Jonathan Joseph – 6
Like his centre colleague, he led the defence well and never gave Scotland a sniff. Had no chance to showcase his running skills. He had one chance to set the backs free outside him, but opted not to give what would have been a tough pass.
12. Owen Farrell – 6
Gains a point for marshalling England’s defence, which went unbroken, very authoritatively. He kicked very averagely (both off the tee and out of hand) in tricky conditions. Wasted an overlap on a rare occasion when England had one.
11. Eliot Daly – 5
Had so little to do that it is difficult to give him a rating. Decent enough catching and chasing kicks. A couple of dodgy kicks himself. Not a lot else to mention.
10. George Ford – 5
Apart from the kick that put the pressure on Stuart Hogg in the lead-up to England’s try, that facet of his game was largely average. A lot of trying to do the right thing with little execution, exemplified by his drop goal that went a fraction wide.
9. Willi Heinz – 6
Was pushing for an honorary mention in the game’s best player award in the first half. He kept the tempo high when he could and used England’s demolition runners well. The kicking game was brilliant given the conditions as well. The opposite could be said for his performance in the second half before he was taken off.
1. Mako Vunipola – 6
The scrum was solid, but I feel Joe Marler is a better option in that area. He was unable to make any decisive carries, but always offered himself. Tackled hard and tackled frequently.
2. Jamie George – 7
Gains a mark due to his accuracy at the line-out in exceptionally tricky conditions (just look at how Scotland’s malfunctioned). Aside from that, like a number of other England forwards, he worked tirelessly without being a game-breaker.
3. Kyle Sinckler – 6
Another solid showing in the set piece and a generally decent outing. Carried a little more than last week, but without a big ball carrier in the midfield or the back row, he will have to do a lot more in that department.
4. Maro Itoje – 7
Probably the runner-up in the contest for being the best player on the park. He was a nuisance at the breakdown and in the maul and a constant thorn in the side of the Scottish line-out. Without his interventions, Scotland may have been able to build that bit more pressure to get a try.
5. George Kruis – 6
An efficient, if workmanlike performance in the loose where he did what was asked of him. England did have the better of the line-out and he was commanding in this area.
6. Lewis Ludlam – 6
Part of a back row that had the better of their Scottish counterparts, but struggled to really make an impression himself. Tackled effectively and was always present without ever having a moment that changed the game.
7. Sam Underhill – 8
Excellent in the tackle, excellent at the breakdown. England were happy to play without the ball and he looked ecstatic doing the dog work for the team. Probably a fair choice for man of the match.
8. Tom Curry – 7
A much improved performance from the Sale man. He is still not an 8, but he showed his ability to learn from errors with better control from the base and more direct carrying. His work on the floor was also very good, which was a key area that had the game go England’s way.
Bench – 7
For the second week in a row, the bench helped England out when they were beginning to struggle (though last week, they were struggling from the off). Elilis Genge scores the decisive try and Ben Youngs brought the control back to England.
What did you think? Where do England stand before their home games against Wales and Ireland?