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England Player Ratings V Argentina

In a game completely altered by one bizarre and silly mistake by centre-turned-winger Elliot Daly, England showed wonderful grit and resolve to grind out a win against a tired but determined Argentina team.

We rate the players from 1 to 23:

1) Mako Vunipola

In the early stages of the game he once again combined well with his brother Billy to show distribution skills that really shouldn’t be possible in a prop forward. He’ll be disappointed with his scrummaging efforts and having to watch rival Joe Marler gain the upper hand over his opposite number in the second half, but it was never easy with England often a man down in the scrum. 7

2) Dylan Hartley

A solid outing from the captain, showing some deft hands on a couple of occasions, but Hartley is clearly in the team for his fantastic leadership both on and off the field. Agustin Creevy’s sparkling form showed the Twickenham faithful exactly what they are missing in a world class hooker. 6

England v Argentina - Old Mutual Wealth Series

3) Dan Cole

In the team for his set piece solidity, but being a tighthead is the most technically challenging of positions and when facing eight men against seven Cole buckled under the pressure. He’s certainly no Phil Vickery around the park and definitely not a Julian White in the pack and will start to feel the heat from bench player Kyle Sinckler who made a good impact as a replacement. 5

4) Courtney Lawes

Adapted well to the front of the lineout and the new second row combination of Lawes and Kruis worked reasonably well in tandem. The Northampton lock but in a huge shift in defence with England a man down and carried effectively as well. 7

5) George Kruis

A solid performance from a player who has only just recovered from a serious injury. At times he caused the Argentinian lineout problems as he had done so effectively in the Six Nations and his workrate in defence was excellent. 7

6) Chris Robshaw

Another fine performance from arguably the most under-rated player in world rugby, Robshaw was at the centre of everything good about England’s performance and made crucial tackles and turnovers when his team needed them most. 8

England v Argentina - Old Mutual Wealth Series

7) Tom Wood

Wood was everywhere today, making tackle after tackle and showing some impressive hands for Jonny May’s try. The Northampton flanker is at his best when his team’s backs are against the wall, and this type of game suited his strengths to a tee. 8

8) Billy Vunipola

The Saracens powerhouse tore through Argentina’s defence in the first half and caused the Pumas all sorts of problems. If he is out of the Australia game next week then he will be sorely missed by the Red Rose. Eddie Jones has turned the number eight into a genuinely world class player. 8

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9) Ben Youngs

Some wobbles with his passing at times, but Youngs had another reliable game – controlling his pack and marshalling the back division effectively, plus using his box kicking well. It has been noticeable, however, that England’s backline moves look slicker with the quicker delivery of replacement Danny Care. 6

10) George Ford

Teams keep targeting the diminutive fly-half in defence, but he always finds the answers. A fantastic shift with his tackling and responsible for every good move by England’s attack. 8

England v Argentina - Old Mutual Wealth Series

11) Elliot Daly

A brilliant player but one ridiculously silly decision could have cost his team the game. Daly’s contribution was a missed tackle and a red card, so what else can you give him? 0

12) Owen Farrell

Farrell was strong in defence again, but not so much of a force in attack as he has been in previous England games wearing 12. He will also be very frustrated with his wayward place kicking that could have been very costly to his team. 6

13) Jonathan Joseph

Excellent work in defence once more and compensated well for his side missing a player for 76 minutes of the match. He had little chance to show off his attacking abilities, but England are truly lucky to have a player of his talents as well as Daly to choose from at 13. 7

England v Argentina - Old Mutual Wealth Series

14) Jonny May

His best game in an England shirt by far. May’s kick chasing put the Pumas under intense pressure, his tackling has improved immeasurably and he took every opportunity that was afforded to him. For most of the game he seemed like a man possessed. This writer’s man-of-the-match. 9

15) Mike Brown

Showed flashes of the player he was in his pomp. His wonderful length of the field break was the Brown we all know and love, although the pass at the end of it wasn’t quite so sublime. Imperious under the high ball and the kind of player England needed in such tough circumstances. 8


Jamie George: Made a real impact at the set piece and around the park when he came on, showing glimpses of the potential that will see him overtake captain Hartley before too long. 7

Joe Marler: Got on top of his opposite number at scrum time, helping to win a crucial penalty at the scrum. Although Argentina took off two thirds of their first choice front row, the Harlequins prop made the most of his chances. However, a silly yellow card for holding a player back suggested Marler’s old disciplinary problems haven’t quite gone away just yet. 8

England v Argentina - Old Mutual Wealth Series

Kyle Sinckler: Offered an awful lot around the park and showed what an impressive force he can be in defence, Sinckler was solid at scrum time in particularly challenging conditions. He will have learnt so much from his extended time on the field and will start to put incumbent Cole under pressure. 8

Teimana Harrison: You can’t fault the young back rower’s effort, he is constantly looking to tackle, carry or be a nuisance at the breakdown. However, like a young Courtney Lawes he needs to learn where best to spend his energy and when to hold back. 6

Danny Care: As in previous games, the Harlequins scrum-half brings renewed vigour to England’s attack with his quick and slick delivery. If only England could combine the talents of their two 9s, they would have quite some player. 7

Henry Slade: A brief cameo at 15 saw the Exeter Chiefs utility back put in some hefty tackles and keep Argentina’s attack at bay. 6

Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

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