England 32-15 Australia: player ratings from Twickenham

Freddie Steward shines for England with the first of what should be many tries, while Angus Bell has a game to forget

England

15 Freddie Steward Effortlessly graceful in the air – he never looks like dropping one – and took his first of what should be many tries well. 8/10

14 Manu Tuilagi Rarely stayed on wing, coming infield and charging at the defence. Perhaps best to play him in his best position, though. 6

13 Henry Slade Spent a lot of time at wing or full-back and, while he showed his quality, looked a square peg in a round hole at times. 6

12 Owen Farrell (capt) A solid return to the side but, if he limps off, then it’s a safe bet he is hurt. A concern, with South Africa due here next week. 6

11 Jonny May Did not make the most of one promising opportunity in the first half and was subdued thereafter. 5

10 Marcus Smith Not bad. Kicked too much early on but showed his ability when putting Steward away. Forced things a little. 7

9 Ben Youngs Kicked well and distribution on the money, including one fizzed long pass when falling backwards. 7

1 Bevan Rodd Needless early penalty against but responded with strong carry in Australia’s 22. Brought some ballast to the scrum, too on impressive debut. 8

2 Jamie George Rampaging run up the middle, just when England were going quiet. But dropped one over the line and was injured in the process. 6

3 Kyle Sinckler Plenty of grunt but his delicate touch with ball in hand sets him apart and grew in influence as match wore on. 8

4 Maro Itoje Not his most disciplined of performances but upped his game when Australia threatened a comeback. 6

5 Jonny Hill Strong carry early in the second half but ultimately held up. Slowly but surely growing in stature at this level. 7

6 Courtney Lawes As usual, lovely footwork to buy himself an extra yard. England’s most consistent forward at present. 7

7 Sam Underhill Not one of his more conspicuous matches but perhaps hard to make an impact when breakdown was such a mess. 6

8 Tom Curry A lot of work, though yet to convince fully at No 8 and Dombrandt’s cameo showed what a specialist can do when given the chance. 7

Australia

15 Kurtley Beale Beaten a little easily for Steward’s try and endured a frustrating afternoon, finding himself on the end of too many loose passes. 5

14 Andrew Kellaway The former Northampton wing had a big impact on the Rugby Championship but hasn’t been able to bring that form north. 5

13 Len Ikitau Has “effort” emblazoned on his wristband and there was no lack of it. Almost caught England napping but Smith was alert to it. 6

12 Hunter Paisami Levelled Smith in the first half to force the knock on, and made a scything break in the second. 7

11 Tom Wright Can have no complaints over yellow card – which felt the correct sanction – and fumbled the ball when well placed to dart down the left. 4

10 James O’Connor Goal-kicking was on the money from the off and, having sat far too deep against Scotland, brought a better balance to his game. 6

9 Nic White Busy and industrious throughout and came up with a remarkable tackle to deny George a try. 7

1 Angus Bell Mindless tip tackle on Lawes earned himself a yellow card when Australia were just a point behind. 4

2 Folau Fainga’a One or two wobbles at lineout time and missed a couple of tackles before being replaced. 5

3 James Slipper Gave up one scrum penalty to Rodd but responded well and kept on toiling away at the coal face. 6

4 Rory Arnold Brings a bit of muscle to the Wallabies pack and made some important metres in heavy traffic. 6

5 Izack Rodda Silly breakdown penalty against but was disruptive at the lineout and a general thorn in England’s side. 7

6 Rob Leota Provided a lineout option and showed up well as a carrying option but his discipline was a problem. 6

7 Michael Hooper (capt) Effort and energy in abundance, as we have come to expect. Was the game’s top tackler when he limped off after 55 minutes. 7

8 Rob Valetini Made a monstrous tackle on Youngs when England were threatening and made a couple of dents. 6

Contributor

Gerard Meagher at Twickenham

The GuardianTramp

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