England player rating vs Barbarians
England began their summer of rugby in disappointing fashion, losing 21-52 to the Barbarians at Twickenham. England’s embarrassment was compounded when George Kruis backheeled a conversion in his final ever competetive rugby game.
The first half was filled with tries but lacked the attacking impetus which so often typified these tests. In the end it was Will Skelton’s red card for a high tackle which brought the most drama in the first half. The Barbarians were leading at that point and held on to that advantage deep into the second half, demonstrating a resilience expected of an international outfit, not a scratch side.
15. Tommy Freeman – 6.5
You wouldn’t have known Freeman was making his England debut, given the composure he showed when securing deep kicks and running aggressively into traffic. The Saints star helped England score their first, running a tight support line with Smith.
14. Joe Cokanasiga – 5.5
The winger played with a point to prove, chasing down a kick early on, helping secure a turnover. Minutes later he streamed down the right wing, ball grasped in one hand, eating up space in the Barbarians half. While his positioning was found wanting, the Bath starter scored England’s opener.
13. Joe Marchant – 5
Marchant has been a mainstay of the free-flowing Harlequins backline but found it hard to transfer his attacking skills early in the encounter. While he didn’t make the same mistakes as his centre partner, he failed to shine brightly and stake a claim in the England midfield. Jack Nowell replaced Marchant in the 56th minute.
12. Mark Atkinson – 4
England’s new-look midfield did little to wow the Twickenham crowd. Atkinson made up half of that unit but was made to look sub-par by Damian Penaud, first when the winger handed him off and later when the Frenchman intercepted a pass to score the Barbarians’ third.
11. Jonny May – 5
After spending time sidelined by injury, May’s return to test rugby started badly, as the winger received a yellow and conceded a penalty try for intentionally knocking on a pass. May made amends in the second half, finishing smartly in the corner.
10. Marcus Smith – 6
England struggled to string together attacking phases in the face of a dogged Barbarians defence but nonetheless Smith was able to show flashes of his brilliance. Few flyhalfs can produce brilliant amidst chaos but Smith can. His dummy helped set up England’s first try and his expertly delivered miss-pass gave England their second. Midway through the second half he then got a try of his own.
9. Harry Randall –4
Quick ball from the ruck is Randall’s preference but that tactic bit back when the scrum half’s delivery was intercepted by Charles Ollivon who ran the length of the pitch to score. At times he made Smith’s life harder with erratic passes from the base of the ruck. He was replaced by Care early in the second half.
1. Bevan Rodd – 5
The loosehead looked lively around the field, covering ground with ease. But he struggled to impose himself at scrum time early and gave away numerous penalties for engaging prematurely. However, he later showed strength over the ball, winning an impressive turnover.
2. Jack Walker – 5
The debutant did well on his first England outing, bringing a frenetic energy to the front row which is seldom seen at this level of competition. He did look unnerved in the scrum but remained composed in defence. He was replaced by Jack Singleton in the 56th minute.
3. Will Collier – 4
Collier’s third England cap was largely uneventful, with the Harlequins prop struggling to impose himself against a large Barbarians pack. He was then surprisingly brought off in the 28th minute and replaced by Patrick Schickerling, but returned after the debutant was concussed.
4. Charlie Ewels – 4
Ewels has become a consistent feature in Eddie Jones’ England but struggled to do much to state a claim for a starting role in Australia.
5. Jonny Hill – 4
Hill’s return to the England setup was mixed in its outcome. An impressive line break was tempered by inconsistency at the lineout. The game’s stop-start nature did little to help Hill showcase his skills to Jones once more. Late in the day Hill also dropped a ball over the line to squander a try opportunity.
6. Tom Curry – 5
The captain for the day was uncharacteristically quiet both in the tackle and over the ball. At times Curry looked off the pace and made a few handling errors on his way, leading England in rather subdued fashion.
7. Sam Underhill – 5.5
The lack of flow in the contest did not help Underhill at the start. Although he looked imperious over the ball, with the Barbarians struggling to string together attacking phases, Underhill was unable to showcase his phenomenal tackle technique. He was replaced by Courtney Lawes in the 56th minute.
8. Calum Chick – 5
Came into the starting lineup as a late notice replacement for Alex Dombrandt. Chick carried powerfully but did little to put his name above the man who he replaced. In the tackle he appeared confident but lacked the x factor or Simmonds or Dombrandt. Was replaced by Willis early in the second half.
16. Jack Singleton – 5
Came on for Jack Walker in the 56th minute. Showed physicality in carries.
17. Will Goodrick-Clarke – 5
Came on for Collier as a tighthead, rather than his favoured loosehead.
18. Patrick Schickerling – 5
Schickerling made his international debut earlier than expected, replacing Collier on the 28th minute mark. Before the close of the half he was shouldered in the head by Will Skelton and permanently removed from the field.
19. Courtney Lawes – 5.5
Showed his worth when he came on for Underhill, hitting the rucks hard.
20. Jack Willis – 5
Came on in the 44th minute for Chick and instantly injected some pace to the attack.
21. Danny Care – 5
Danny Care made his long-overdue return to international rugby on the 44th minute to jubilated applause. However, he was responsible for defensive miscommunication which led to the Barbarians scoring almost instantly. He recovered, speeding up the England attacking phase play, transforming the look of Jones’ side.
22. Orlando Bailey – 4
Came on late in the game and had little time to make an impact.
23. Jack Nowell – 5.5
Nowell’s return to international rugby came in the 56th minute for Marchant, filling outside centre. He was sharp and carried powerfully, quickly becoming a pivotal figure in the England attack.
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