England player ratings vs Chile | Rugby World Cup 2023
England player ratings live from Lille: We came in search of a coachload of tries materialising for England against the tournament’s lowest-ranked side and eventually got it, Steve Borthwick’s side putting 11 past Chile – five of them from an electric Henry Arundell – to massage the attack statistic that had been a millstone for the head coach all through 2023.
Before this one-sided fixture was won 71-0, England had managed just 22 tries in 11 games under Borthwick, on average a try every 40 minutes, and their best single-game haul was the five scored against Italy in game two of the head coach’s tenure. So ugly was their play for long periods last Sunday in Nice that they even were loudly booed with Japan still alive and that result in the balance.
Things were ripe for a change up with this much-changed England XV and while the humidity was heading towards 60 per cent mark as the game progressed, the temperature didn’t nudge above 18°C which meant perfect condition and no excuses for England to zip the ball through the hands rather than take to the skies as was the dominant theme in their wins over Argentina and Japan.
It took a while to click, though, Chile jamming the scoreboard at 0-0 until the deadlock was broken on 20 minutes. There were three tries in a 10-minute spell, five in 20 and with England 31 points clear at the break, the only question that remained was how wide the winning margin would be.
Seventy-one was the answer, the final half-hour even getting played out with them having three No10s on the pitch with the two-try Marcus Smith at full-back and reinstated skipper Owen Farrell switching to inside centre to accommodate George Ford off the bench.
Will the easy win have any effect on Borthwick’s selection plan for next month’s business end of the tournament? It’s unlikely but it should as Smith and Arundell were very pleasing to the eye in attack. Here are the England player ratings:
15. Marcus Smith – 8.5
A first start in this position, he endured early frustrations with a grubber and a pass respectively eluding Arundell and Max Malins. However, Smith’s attitude in adversity is always top notch and he stuck at it and with his positive interventions mounting up, it eventually culminated in a lovely solo score on the blow of half-time, taking a pass from Farrell near halfway, seeing the space in behind and kicking a beauty through the cover that popped up neatly into his hands for the score. Finished the second half strongly as well, giving Arundell a 69th-minute assist before scoring himself in 77. If we were picking the team for the next day, we’d have no problem in having a back three of Smith flanked by Arundell and Freddie Steward, but that likely won’t be the Borthwick way.
14. Henry Arundell – 10
After two anonymous starts, where we weren’t shy in marking him poorly, he must get top marks here for his five-try display. His first two were walk-ins but the 20-year-old still deserved credit for them as he showed there were no nerves on this occasion unlike before. His first was especially important in the context of this game as well, grabbing a looping Farrell pass to badly pierce surging Chilean optimism at 0-0. His chip kick and regather on the hour was the pick of his scores, though. If the regular England played with the intent of getting the ball to the wingers, he would ne a shoo-in for the rest of the tournament Borthwick unfortunately prefers a much narrower attack.
13. Elliot Daly – 6.5
A rare outing at outside centre, he enjoyed the variation and the additional involvement this position brought. While there was a frustrating intercepted pass with the contest deadlocked, it was his kick that got England back up the pitch to begin their try-fest. He ended his 50-minute display with a neat kick for the Arundell hat-trick assist.
12. Ollie Lawrence – 6.5
Showed his running ability with ball in hand, leaving numerous defenders for dead and also exhibiting some excellent leg drive in contact. Brought a nice threat to this inside centre role, but was pushed out a spot for the closing 30 minutes when Farrell was repositioned following the introduction of Ford.
11. Max Malins – 5.5
One of six starters getting their first minutes at the finals, he endured a slow start with some errors but an aerial win on 23 minutes, which ignited the move for the second try, settled him and he was a bit more precise in what he did after that, including one excellent offload. Played for 70.
10. Owen Farrell – 7.5
Straight back into the mix after his four-game ban, it took him time to get the attack moving with effect. Began with the rip that ended the first Chile attack and led his team well when it needed leading, putting them in the corners and also having the cop on not to go for the kick when England had a penalty under the posts. That would have risked jeers from the fans and the decision was rewarded by the opening try off the scrum where he flung a sweet assist to Arundell. His quick tap was also the prompt for Arundell’s second walk-in. Landed eight of his 11 conversion attempts in a breezy return to the fray following his August 12 red card against Wales.
9. Danny Care – 6.5
Knew he needed to hurry up the pedestrian ruck of this England World Cup squad, but there were times during his 50-minute appearance when it was still very slow. Couldn’t grasp a Dan offload with the game at 0-0, but he mixed up his game, even getting some caries in before exiting on 50.
1. Bevan Rodd – 6
Wasn’t much noticed until he burrowed over for the bonus point England try on 35 minutes. Had the focus to hit back from an early second-half scrum penalty to get the award at the next set-piece. Also showed his alertness in general play with the pass he put in during the lead-up to the third Arundell try.
2. Theo Dan – 8
Lovely stuff. A hefty dunt by a Chilean prop early doors could have put him off his stride, but this promising kid is made of stern stuff. Capable in the set-piece, he was rewarded with two tries off the lineout maul while he also displayed his handling with the pass assist for Arundell on 30 minutes. A very decent 54 minutes.
3. Kyle Sinckler – 6.5
Had so far failed to shine but handed a shot at improvement as just one of three repeat starters from last Sunday in Nice. He enthusiastically took it, putting in some eager ball carries when the match was there to be won and enjoying himself at the scrum before departing with 26 minutes remaining.
5. George Martin – 7
It was his carry near the line that put England in range to nail their four-try bonus point through Rodd. Played the entire match, as did Ribbans, and while there were a number of missed tackles, the stops that were effective made his team’s second busiest tackler on the day. Enjoyed some carries as well.
6. Lewis Ludlam – 7.5
Looked short of gas in the Nice humidity, but the Lille conditions were more to his liking and he was his pack’s most effective ball carrier when Chile needed taming. His work rate during his 54 minutes was encapsulated by his gallop down the left win in the lead-up to his team’s 35th-minute bonus-clinching try.
7. Jack Willis – 8
Had four tackles on the board in the opening 10 minutes, an illustration of the battle that Chile initially brought to this match. Finished with a tackle count of 18 and his effective carrying was royally rewarded by him notching the 11th and last of the England tries.
8. Billy Vunipola – 6
A first start since his Dublin red card last month, he stole a lineout ball off a Chile throw in the England 22 to put a stop to early opposition energy. Was described in recent performances as looking leggy and it was similar here with the game there to be won. Exited on 67 minutes.
16. Jack Walker – 6.5
Wasn’t responsible for the England lull where there was just one try in a 19-minute second-half spell. Carried on the good work of Dan.
17. Joe Marler – 5
Had far more good fortune as a starter last weekend than off the bench here in the 54th minute.
18. Will Stuart – 5
The third front rower to be thrown on with 26 minutes remaining, it largely passed him by save for the concession of a few penalties.
19. Ollie Chessum – 6
Had 26 minutes as Ludlam’s replacement. Managed a rare couple of carries with the ball away from the usual engine room workload.
20. Ben Earl – 7.5
Only had 13 minutes near the end for Vunipola but that was enough for him to get England revved back up to make their strong finish. Some big carries.
21. Ben Youngs – 6.5
England had seven tries on the board by the time he was given the closing 30 minutes which featured four more tries. There was an initial lull but he ended well.
22. George Ford – 6.5
Another who was given the closing 30, there was a slowdown at first with the readjustment but his 10/12 combination with Farrell eventually settled and it was he who then gave the assist for Smith’s second, delaying his pass momentarily so that the full-back could collect at pace.
23. Joe Marchant – No rating
Just the 10 minutes late on for Malins.
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