England player ratings: Ben Earl the star amidst the mediocrity as Steve Borthwick’s men fail to fire against Japan

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Following a 34-12 victory over Japan in the Rugby World Cup clash at Stade de Nice on Sunday, here’s the player ratings for England.

15 Freddie Steward: Solid at the back and a couple of half-breaks, but some poor handling in phase play. Took his try well. 6

14 Jonny May: Similar to Steward in that he helped England win the aerial battle, while there was the odd sign of threat, but he’s not the player he used to be. 6

13 Joe Marchant: When he got the ball, he looked dangerous, but that was barely ever. By the hour mark, he had only been involved twice in attack. 6

12 Manu Tuilagi: Used a bit more than his centre partner and threatened to break free on occasion. Genuinely, he looks as fit as he has been in four years, but we haven’t really seen it because England have been so lacking in invention. 6

11 Elliot Daly: Obviously used as another kicking option in that England backline and it was done well at times, but he certainly overdid it. 5

10 George Ford: Had a bad start to the game but settled into his work pretty well and in the second half manipulated the Japan defence to greater effect. 7

9 Alex Mitchell: He’s implemented England’s game plan pretty well and surprised us with the accuracy of his box-kicking. Some bad decisions in the second half, but he gets to the ruck very quickly and can increase the tempo. 7

Lack of set-piece dominance

8 Lewis Ludlam: A bustling performance where he carried hard and made his tackles. A stopgap number eight but he never lets England down. 7

7 Ben Earl: Another fine performance from the openside. A joy to watch when he gets the ball in space out wide, but he doesn’t neglect his core duties either. 8

6 Courtney Lawes (c): Was on the end of probably the flukiest try ever scored but that was reward for his endeavour, where he was always involved. 7

5 Ollie Chessum: Still finding his feet after just returning from a lengthy injury. Looks physical and in good shape, but still searching for that match sharpness. 6

4 Maro Itoje: Lineout was a concern with Japan causing a number of problems on England’s throw, but he was slightly more effective elsewhere. 6

3 Kyle Sinckler: He wasn’t poor but, on the evidence of the first two games, Sinckler is England’s third choice tighthead at the moment. The set-piece improved with Will Stuart on. 6

2 Jamie George: Lineout didn’t run smoothly but, like Itoje, he was ever-present in the loose and made some decent contributions. 6

1 Joe Marler: His head claimed an assist while he won an important turnover on his own line to get England out of trouble, but not too much else. 6

Replacements: The front-row made an impact in both the set-piece and the loose, while Ben Youngs and Marcus Smith were sharp. They helped the Red Rose pull away from Japan. 7

READ MORE: Laboured England get the job done against Japan to move a step closer to the quarter-finals

The article England player ratings: Ben Earl the star amidst the mediocrity as Steve Borthwick’s men fail to fire against Japan appeared first on Planetrugby.com.