England 25-25 New Zealand: Autumn Nations Series player ratings

Rieko Ioane was unplayable at times but England’s Mako Vunipola was like a man possessed after his introduction


15 Freddie Steward Could not get in the game until last 10 minutes, because New Zealand would not let him, but showed what he can do when he imposes himself. 7

14 Jack Nowell Back after an abdominal injury and chased box-kicks well. Allowed Ioane in under the posts a bit too easily and no impact with ball in hand. 5

13 Manu Tuilagi Has tormented the All Blacks in the past but limited to one burst which he might have finished off in his pomp. Lasted 52 minutes. 6

12 Owen Farrell (capt) Soldiered on despite a painful-looking ankle injury on 100th appearance and dragged England back into it with remarkable spirit. Will have loved every minute. 8

11 Jonny May Looked rusty after so long away and really should have found Curry after one break but finally found his feet as England blasted their way back. 7

10 Marcus Smith Should not have kicked the ball off at the end but, as is his speciality, played his part in the comeback. As Eddie Jones said this week a “work in progress”. 7

9 Jack van Poortvliet The stuff that nightmares are made of. Poor early kick, picked off by Papalii, charged down, sacked – nothing went his way. Will come back stronger but one of those days. 3

1 Ellis Genge Another who will want to forget this one in a hurry. Outgunned at the scrum and could not impose himself with ball in hand. 5

2 Luke Cowan-Dickie No problems at lineout, despite one less target to aim for, and made some impression on both sides of the ball. One of England’s better starting forwards. 6

3 Kyle Sinckler Struggled in scrum, couldn’t make much of an impression when carrying and scant evidence of his clever handling on show before he was replaced early. 5

4 Maro Itoje Back in the second-row, belted out the anthem but could not exert anything like the influence he did in 2019. Kept going until the end. 7

5 Jonny Hill Lost the ball when England were well placed in the first half and came up against two locks who showed him just how far away he is from the benchmark. 5

6 Sam Simmonds Wearing the No 6 jersey for the first time for England and showed himself a willing carrier throughout, albeit for limited yards. 7

7 Tom Curry One of England’s better players but second fiddle to Papalii for large parts. Showed up excellently when England rolled the dice. 8

8 Billy Vunipola A mixed bag. Gave away two quick penalties which killed any momentum England were building. Everywhere in the last 10 minutes though. 7

Jamie George (for Cowan-Dickie) Brought experience 7; Mako Vunipola (for Genge) Played like a man possessed 9; Will Stuart (for Sinckler) Significant impact and deserved tries 8; David Ribbans (for Hill) Astonishing pass in buildup for Steward score 9; Jack Willis (for Simmonds) Got stuck in 7; Ben Youngs (for Van Poortvliet) Improvement but why kick the ball away? 7; Guy Porter (for Nowell) n/a; Henry Slade (for Tuilagi) Needs to start 7.

Will Stuart crashes over to score England’s third and his second try in the final minute.
Will Stuart crashes over to score England’s third and his second try in the final minute. Photograph: Bradley Collyer/PA

New Zealand

15 Beauden Barrett Crossfield kicks didn’t come off last week but, like brother Jordie, on the money this time around and England could not cope. Late yellow card extremely costly though. 6

14 Mark Telea Two tries on debut last week and does not look out of place at this level, constantly keeping May on his toes. 6

13 Rieko Ioane Lost the ball in contact twice early on but nigh-on unplayable thereafter. Stood up well in defence, powered over for first try and showed pace for second. 9

12 Jordie Barrett Has found his home at inside-centre. Dominating presence and such a clever array of crossfield kicks, keeping the ball away from Streward. 9

11 Caleb Clarke Always looking for crossfield kicks and did superbly well to chop down Tuilagi in full flight, Showed dexterity to set up Ioane’s second try. 7

10 Richie Mo’unga Excellent variety in his play, keeping England guessing throughout. Some wonder why Beauden Barrett does not play at fly-half but here was an illustration of why. 8

9 Aaron Smith In complete contrast to his opposite number he exuded authority and remains the finest distributor of the ball around. Was missed when he went off. 8

1 Ethan de Groot A lovely tip-on pass that demonstrated he brings much more than set-piece power but fine scrummaging performance, too. 7

2 Codie Taylor One or two lineout wobbles and was Mathieu Raynal’s target for taking too long this time but took his try well and showed up in the loose. 6

3 Tyrel Lomax League convert had an excellent match, outshining Genge at the scrum and making his presence felt all over the pitch. 8

4 Brodie Retallick New Zealand’s centurion produced a typically warrior-like display with one powerful carry from deep and a key turnover on Itoje. 7

5 Samuel Whitelock (Capt) Typified an abrasive showing from New Zealand’s dominant forward pack for 70 minutes but must take share of blame for All Blacks’ collapse. 6

6 Scott Barrett Was a surprise selection in 2019 and it did not work, much better three years on and you sense he’ll have got some satisfaction from that. 7

7 Dalton Papalii Saw Van Poortvliet’s pass coming a mile off before cantering through to score. Capped a fine autumn with another imperious performance. 8

8 Ardie Savea Overlooked in the shortlist for world player of the year earlier this week and not quite the sort of response he’d have liked. A constant nuisance though. 7

Samisoni Taukei’aho (for Taylor) Looked flustered 5; George Bower (for De Groot) Under pressure 5; Nepo Laulala (for Lomax) n/a; Shannon Frizell (for S Barrett) Not the same force as Barrett 5; Hoskins Sotutu (for Papalii) n/a; TJ Perenara (for Smith) Has enough experience to manage a lead better than that 5; Anton Lienert-Brown (for Clarke) n/a.


Gerard Meagher at Twickenham

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