Ireland 20 England 32: England player ratings

John O’Sullivan ranks the visitors after their impressive performance at the Aviva

Owen Farrell celebrates a second-half penalty in Dublin. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Owen Farrell celebrates a second-half penalty in Dublin. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

 

15 Elliot Daly

Followed his chip through and was rewarded with a smartly taken try. He was very comfortable in dealing with Ireland’s kicking game, albeit under minimal pressure. Rating: 8

14 Jack Nowell

Did well to prise the ball away in the tackle from Stockdale for Daly’s try. He worked infield to get on the ball, generally occupied multiple tacklers and excelled throughout. Rating: 8

13 Henry Slade

He bragged a brace of tries, the first might have been ruled out for a forward pass but showed good pace and for the second great anticipation to intercept; an intelligent kicking option to boot. Rating: 8

England’s Henry Slade scores his side’s fourth try in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA
England’s Henry Slade scores his side’s fourth try in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

12 Manu Tuilagi

Strong aggressive carrying and possesses the ability to pass out of the contact. He put in several thumping tackles that stopped the carrier instantly. Rating: 8

11 Jonny May

He scored a try, created another for Slade with a well-weighted kick through, gobbled up everything that came his way in the air in a very composed and effective performance. Rating: 8

10 Owen Farrell

Gorgeous cut-out pass for May’s try, two brilliant touchline conversions, generally controlled and varied the game beautifully, whether kicking or passing: one or two place-kicks aside, a high calibre performance. Rating: 9

9 Ben Youngs

His all-round kicking game was top-notch giving his teammates a chance to contest or else getting his team great field position. Silver salver service to his outhalf courtesy of his pack. Rating: 8

1 Mako Vunipola

Absolutely astonishing tackle count (25) but it wasn’t just the volume it was the magnitude of the hit that invariably sent an Irish player straight to the ground: a thoroughly deserved man of the match. Rating: 9

Mako Vunipola was man of the match in Dublin. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Mako Vunipola was man of the match in Dublin. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

2 Jamie George

There should be no doubting who England’s first choice hooker is after this game. His work ethic was prodigious, so too his effectiveness at the breakdown; the odd issue out of touch. Rating: 8

3 Kyle Sinckler

Perhaps the one player who mightn’t enjoy the review as much, a spiky, lippy presence but conceded two penalties one for not rolling away in tackle and another one for a high shot on Garry Ringrose. Relished the collisions and was powerful in contact. Rating: 6

4 Majo Itoje

Risked a yellow when taking out Keith Earls not near the ball but otherwise he was excellent on both sides of the ball. A great turnover in midfield, ruthlessly efficient and focused before departing through injury. Rating: 8

5 George Kruis

Part of an English pack that discharged their roles with great physicality without any standout moments before being replaced on 51-minutes. Rating: 7

6 Mark Wilson

Huge tackle count and for those who wondered about his capacity to operate at high-end test level they received an eloquent response: 21 tackles offers an indication of his effectiveness. Rating: 9

7 Tom Curry

Marked down slightly for a yellow card, a late on Earls but that aside was very, very good; chop-tackled to great effect and hunted down Irish players and covered the pitch intelligently. Rating: 7

Tom Curry and Jack Nowell celebrate with Elliot Daly after the fullback’s try. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Tom Curry and Jack Nowell celebrate with Elliot Daly after the fullback’s try. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

8 Billy Vunipola

Drifted into the backfield to accept Ireland’s box-kicks from time to time, carried and got his hands free and attracted multiple tacklers. Not quite back to his best but a performance of substance nonetheless. Rating: 7

Replacements: Courtney Lawes’ great hit on Garry Ringrose forced a penalty turnover, Nathan Hughes and Harry Williams ensured that the relenting physical assault on Ireland never diminished. Rating: 8

Coach: Eddie Jones won the tactical battle. England won the breakdown, the collisions, aerial battle, the kicking game and identified Ireland’s vulnerability to the well judged grubber-kick. The English gameplan was well thought out and superbly executed. Rating: 9

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