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Opinion

Rugby World Cup final: England player ratings

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Roar Guru
2nd November, 2019
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England have been denied a third Rugby World Cup victory after going down to South Africa 32-12 in the 2019 tournament final.

It was a tough night at the office for England, who arguably came into this game as favourites after a dominant win over the All Blacks in their semi-final last week.

Here’s how the England players fared individually.

Mako Vunipola – 4
He was completely out of his depth at scrum time up against Frans Malherbe and didn’t do much in general play, making just one each of tackles and runs.

Jamie George – 6
Tried hard. He made five tackles and had two carries and threw well at the line out. He came off after 59 minutes.

Kyle Sinckler – 2
Sinckler ws knocked out in just the second minute after copping some friendly fire from teammate Maro Itoje. he wasn’t seen again after that.

Maro Itoje – 6.5
He topped the tackle count with 16 and just one miss after playing the entire 80, and was one of England’s better players.

Maro Itoje runs the ball for England

(Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

Courtney Lawes – 6
He struggled for impact but tried hard with four tackles and nine runs for 35m. He came off after 40 minutes.

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Tom Curry – 7
Another of England’s better performers. Curry an the most metres of any forward in his team with 46m from nine runs.

Sam Underhill – 6.5
He recorded seven tackles plus four runs for 22m. Didn’t let anyone down.

Billy Vunipola – 7
He tried his absolute guts out with 15 runs and five tackles and tried to spark his team with some offloads. He looked threatening at times.

Ben Youngs – 6.5
Youngs had a decent night with the boot, kicking for 219m (the most on the ground), but wasn’t as impactful in attack as he has been in recent weeks against Australia and New Zealand.

George Ford – 4.5
A night to forget for the English flyhalf. He made a few mistakes, including kicking out on the full in the 27th minute which put his team on the back foot. Ford failed to set up chances for his outside men and was replaced after 49 minutes.

Jonny May – 6
50m from just four runs is a pretty good return. he didn’t get many good attacking opportunities close to the line.

Owen Farrell – 5
He scored all 12 of his side’s points but failed to spark the England attack in general play. He tried hard but was ultimately ineffective.

Manu Tuilagi – 5.5
Big Manu made nine runs for 53m and two tackle busts and was underutilised in my opinion. A player like him should be the focal point of a side’s attack – it felt like he was more of an afterthought to the England brain trust in this game.

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Anthony Watson – 5
One of the few England players who looked a handful with the ball in hand, but didn’t get the opportunities out wide he would have liked.

Elliot Daly – 4.5
He made two crucial errors that put England on the back foot and couldn’t find a way to chime into the England attack. A night to forget.

Luke Cowan-Dickie – 4.5
Came on in the 61st minute and had minimal impact.

Joe Marler – 4
Marler came on in the 45th minute to counter the onslaught of Steven Kitshoff and Vincent Koch in the front row for South Africa. He wasn’t able to slow them down.

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Dan Cole – 5
He came on much earlier than expected when starting hooker Jamie George went off with concussion. Threw well at the line out for the most part, but wasn’t able to get himself into the game.

George Kruis – 5
Kruis played the entire second half and made two runs and three tackles but had plenty of work to do at the breakdown.

Mark Wilson – 4
He ame on in the 59th minute for Sam Underhill but wasn’t sighted much.

Ben Spencer – 2
He came on in the 75th minute when the result was already gone for his team and had minimal involvement.

Henry Slade – 4
Slade entered the match in the 49th minute to replace Ford with the result still hanging in the balance but wasn’t able to spark his team’s attack.

Jonathan Joseph – 3
He came on in the 69th minute and had minimal involvement.

There you have it, Roarers. What are your thoughts on how the England players fared? Let us know in the comments below.

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