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Player ratings: Too little, too late

OPINION: England was unable to capitalise on a numerical advantage as Australia took a one-nil lead in the series with a 30-28 win.


After the Wallabies saw lock Darcy Swain red-carded for a first-half headbutt, England was in control when Ellis Genge went over early in the second half.

However, the hosts mounted a stunning riposte to record their first win over England in nine attempts.

The only consolation for the tourists were late scores from Jack van Poortlviet and Henry Arundell, albeit with the game gone.

Questions will be asked of Eddie Jones after another sub-par performance against 14-men, but here’s our verdict on his players’ performances.

* Gavin Harper rates the England players!

15. Freddie Steward – 6.5
Imperious in the air to give England such security. Cut a few clever lines into the midfield. Stepped in early on Kellaway as he freed Petaia for the Wallabies’ try.


14. Jack Nowell – 6
One good dance through the Wallabies forwards in the first half, but always a willing chaser and did well to get on the end of a Farrell grubber just after half-time. Much busier in the second half, constantly off his wing looking for work.

13. Joe Marchant – 6.5
Always a threat when England gets go-forward ball and might’ve scored if Koroibete hadn’t been on hand to scythe him down. Some good defensive plays to shut down Australian space out wide.

12. Owen Farrell – 5
Some good early touches but like so many others, faded out the game as the Wallabies stormed back. Missed a couple of kicks that might have applied further scoreboard pressure.

11. Joe Cokanasiga – 5
The Bath man on his Test return made a huge charge on Hooper with his first involvement and was constantly looking for work off his wing.


10. Marcus Smith – 5
Targeted physically by Kerevi and had little answer. Needed help from his mates in the pack. Showed some deft touches in the first half.

9. Danny Care – 6
Looked to run when he sniffed a chance in his first cap in almost four years. His kicking game was also on the money to allow England to challenge in the air. Unable to stop Petaia as he crossed.

1. Ellis Genge – 6.5
Part of the successful 2016 tour as a rookie, now an established first choice, and a try scorer this time. An indifferent first half put behind him as the Premiership-winning captain drove over early in the second period. Always wins metres after contact.

2. Jamie George – 5
Made a brilliant steal on Koroibete but was unable to have the same impact either in the tight or with ball in hand as he might have liked.

3. Will Stuart – 6
A rare start for England in the absence of Kyle Sinckler. Not the scrum dominance he might have wanted, and his impact dropped as the game wore on. Not many tightheads can go the distance at Test level.

4. Maro Itoje – 6
Not at his best, but battled hard. A couple of great defensive interventions, but still concedes too many avoidable penalties.

5. Jonny Hill – 5
Charged over the gainline with a dominant carry early. There was a slap for which he was lucky not to be carded before he eventually saw yellow for the hair-pull. He was hooked just as the game turned in the hosts’ favour.

6. Courtney Lawes – 6
His bulk and lineout expertise helps England’s set-piece, while hw showed some excellent handling. His decisions to go to the corner will be scrutinised closely.

7. Tom Curry – 6.5
Picked a wonderful line off Farrell and nearly put Marchant away. Always a threat at the breakdown, but fell foul of the referee as Lolesio levelled at half-time. The Sale man regularly found space in the 15m channel.

8. Billy Vunipola – 6
Used to carry England over the gainline in midfield and regularly punched big holes in the Wallabies defence. Less impactful after the break, except when he clattered Hooper’s jaw and saw yellow to cancel out the numerical advantage.


16. Luke Cowan-Dickie – 5
Replaced George for the final quarter of an hour. Looks short of his best form.

17. Mako Vunipola – 5
Made his return shortly before the hour, replacing Genge. One decent half-break, but otherwise little impact.

18. Joe Heyes – N/A

19. Ollie Chessum – 5
Replaced Hill just as the Wallabies took control. Carried in the shadows of the posts but hit hard and turned over. Atoned immediately with a maul turnover.

20. Lewis Ludlam – 6
On at half-time for Curry, the Northampton man caused chaos at the breakdown and helped drive Genge over for his try. Couldn’t get close to Samu as he sealed the win.

21. Jack van Poortlviet – 7.5
On for Care very late on but marked his cameo with a debut Test try.

22. Guy Porter – N/A

23. Henry Arundell – 8.5
The teenager was thrown on as England chased the game. Beat three defenders to score with his first touch; made a great break and nearly scored with his second.


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