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England player ratings: Jones’ men avoid Nations Cup humiliation

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ngland needed extra time to extinguish France’s brave resistance as they lifted the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup with a 22-19 victory in front of 2,000 noisy fans at Twickenham.

Sudden death was ushered in when Luke Cowan-Dickie finished a driving maul with 29 seconds of regular time remaining, Owen Farrell averting a humiliating defeat against a shadow Les Bleus side by kicking the conversion to set up a grandstand finish.

Will Macpherson assesses Eddie Jones’ men after a dramatic match…

Had a very good first half, and a pretty poor second. Lacked killer instinct when presented with a couple of overlaps on the right. Good long penalty early on.  

Received poor service, especially from Daly, and just could not seem to get into the game.

More involved than earlier in the tournament. Some nice runs and some handy touch finders too – including to set up Cowan-Dickie’s try. Has won four trophies in two months.  

Landed the points that took the game to extra time and to win the game, but was a way off his best. Jalibert got through his channel for France’s try and missed four kicks. Also received a few tellings from the ref.  

Looked really sharp when he was given the ball, but that did not happen too often because the playmakers kicked so much. Good under the high ball and made a lovely break.  

Kicked so much ball – some of those kicks were very good, some were a little wayward – and was not the central force England required. It was a surprise he did not take over from Farrell with place kicks.

Was not at his best, but didn’t have much quick ball either. Another to receive a big telling off from the referee.  

Was called in for a rare start when Mako Vunipola. Won an early scrum penalty and put in a decent shift, but loses a point for knocking on to end a long period of English attack in the first half.  

Not at his most influential. Missed the tackle for France’s try and England lost a couple of important lineouts.  

Strong scrummaging performance. Has been less dynamic in the loose this year but rarely has a bad game.  

Won the penalty that sealed the victory. Lineout wasn’t perfect, but it improved when he was joined by Jonny Hill.  

Taken off after just 43 minutes with Underhill, but had not done much wrong. Has done well this autumn in the absence of George Kruis and Courtney Lawes.

Knocked on twice off the back of lineouts and was a little indisciplined. Tireless as ever and carried well too. Was named England’s player of the autumn.  

Man of the match last week, but was withdrawn just after half time. Appeared to be singled out for a couple of Curry’s infringements but was less disciplined than we have become accustomed to.  

Was the official man of the match and put in a forceful performance. Topped the tackle and carry charts. A couple of crunching tackles got the fans excited, as did some strong carries.

Scored a try, as he often seems to. Was an important figure and kept his cool at the set piece. A lovely break in extra time.  

On early for Underhill and was a force as the game wore on, both with the ball and in defence. 50 minutes was his longest run in Test rugby and he didn’t disappoint.  

Was an upgrade on Youngs in terms of zip and service.  

Only came on towards the end of the 80, but made a real impression with the ball in hand. It is a shame we did not see him start this campaign. 


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