Wales v England, player ratings: Who rose to occasion and who was caught napping in the Autumn Nations Cup showdown?

Tom Cary
·5 min read
Wales - NMC POOL
Wales - NMC POOL

Wales

Leigh Halfpenny
Reliable as ever in defence, although he did miss a rare penalty from the tee. The curse of 2020 strikes again. 7/10

Louis Rees-Zammit 
Wales’ speed merchant had very few opportunities to stretch his legs. Wales couldn’t get much going in attack. 6/10

Nick Tompkins
Tidy in defence and one brilliant offload in the second half when he was picked up by English tacklers and still managed to get the ball away to Rhys Webb. 7/10

Johnny Williams
Did brilliantly to chase an early charge-down for his try and had a good game in general. 7/10

Josh Adams
Like Rees-Zammit had very few chances to shine ball in hand. Appeared to have a few issues staying behind the kicker. 6/10

Dan Biggar
Grew into game. Unfortunate to concede knock-on in build-up to Slade’s try. Kick charged down early in second half could have proved more costly. 7/10

Lloyd Williams
Did not look very clever dithering at ruck time in the first half. A good afternoon for Tomos Williams. 4/10

Wyn Jones
Superb tackle to stop Kyle Sinckler in his tracks and force a knock-on. But part of a front row which really suffered in the first half. 5/10

Ryan Elias
Scrum woes first half, and bizarre lineout at start of the second which eventually saw him pinged for bad throw. Won a good turnover shortly afterwards but not a great afternoon. 4/10

Samson Lee
Under serious pressure at scrum time, referee Romain Poite holding the Wales tighthead responsible for three first half penalties. Hooked after 42 mins. 4/10

Jake Ball
Wales’ tight five had a torrid time in the first half. Ball got stuck in but was shown up by Itoje and Launchbury. 5/10

Alun Wyn Jones
Typically no-nonsense performance from Wales’s talisman and captain on his world record 151st Test cap. 7/10

Shane Lewis-Hughes​
Has been one of the few positives from Wales’s autumn but shown up here by Curry and Underhill. Gave away a daft penalty for not rolling away after a tackle on Tom Curry. 6/10

James Botham
All the talk beforehand was of England racking up a cricket score. Botham part of an excellent defensive performance. Impressively mature from the 22 year-old on only his second start. 7/10

Taulupe Faletau
A significant step up from his previous autumn displays. Prominent in both attack and defence. Back in Lions reckoning. 8/10​

Rugby Nerd REFERRAL (article)
Rugby Nerd REFERRAL (article)

England

Elliot Daly
Big (if a little clumsy) tackle on Adams but spent most of his afternoon either kicking or fielding kicks from Wales, missing out on a couple of occasions. 5/10

Jonathan Joseph
Had some carries but never in the right areas of the pitch, including one long run across the field which failed to cut Wales open. Tough for him. 5/10

Henry Slade
Early option to kick was too slow, leading to a charge down and Williams scoring the game’s first try. Walked in an easy score and improved. 6/10

Owen Farrell
Missed his first couple of kicks before getting the radar working. Statistics suggest he missed more tackles than he made. An assist for Slade’s try. Good but not great. 6/10

Jonny May
Sharp footwork as ever, beating defenders, but like Joseph was rarely given the ball or space to attack in the right areas and spent most of his afternoon fielding high kicks. 5/10

George Ford
Rusty, with some tactical kicks and passes poorly executed and a restart out on the full, plus one bizarre kick straight into touch with England attacking. 4/10

Ben Youngs
Caught napping at one ruck as Wales turned him over but made something out of nothing with one break picking up a loose ball before feeding Watson. 6/10

Mako Vunipola
Uncharacteristic spill running into contact but in Romain Poite’s opinion he was apparently on top in the scrum, winning two penalties, and scored his first England try since 2014. 8/10

Jamie George
Made decent ground with each carry, but the lineout was not as clean as against Ireland last week and he wasn’t as effective this time out. 6/10

Kyle Sinckler
Stopped just short of the line on one carry and caused disruption at the Wales lineout by at one point simply standing in front of Elias. 6/10

Maro Itoje
Nice inside pass to Underhill in the build-up for England’s first try but an offside penalty gifted Wales three points. Very good overall though, again. 7/10

Joe Launchbury
England’s top tackler by the end of the first half and he was busy throughout once more, hauling Mako Vunipola over for England’s try. In good form. 7/10

Tom Curry
Soft hands in attack to release Underhill and came up with a breakdown penalty right on half time. Went off for an HIA in the second half. 7/10

Sam Underhill
Cut through in the build-up to England’s first try, although got away with tackling Biggar in the air. Support lines were sharp throughout and had a great turnover on Botham. 8/10

Billy Vunipola
Lost possession on one crash ball, but poached a couple of early turnovers and charged down a kick from Biggar. High work-rate, with a dozen carries before the 50-minute mark. 7/10