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Red Roses player ratings v Australia | 2021 Rugby World Cup

By Matt Merritt
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 30: Emily Chancellor of Australia competes in a maul during the Rugby World Cup 2021 New Zealand Quarterfinal match between England and Australia at Waitakere Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Despite torrential rain and a pitch so wet you’d be forgiven for expecting players to start swimming at any moment, England were comfortable victors against a tenacious but sloppy Australia side.


With Sarah Bern earning her 50th cap and captain Sarah Hunter becoming England’s all time appearance leader with her 138th game there was a lot to celebrate for the Red Roses and in a game marred by conditions they nonetheless dominated throughout.

With Canada next up every player will have been putting up their hand to be involved, and here’s how they rated:

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1. Vickii Cornborough – 7/10

Cornborough’s scrum dominance was key for England and she quietly but efficiently went about her work around the park too.

2. Amy Cokayne – 7

Scored the Rd Roses’ fifth try of the night and was a menace all game long. Kept the England line out ticking in difficult conditions too.


3. Sarah Bern – 7

Always threatening to score but never quite got over the line. Solid and dependable in the set piece.

4. Zoe Aldcroft – 6

Worked tirelessly as always but her yellow card in the first half put England on the back foot early on and forced her team to defend hard.


5. Abbie Ward – 7

Bossed the line-out, stealing from Australia and claiming almost every one of England’s throws herself. Also managed to snag a try.

6. Alex Matthews – 8

Tremendous workrate once again from Matthews. Does all the unglamorous, and often unseen, work and does it so well. Also scored England’s sixth try of the evening.

7. Marlie Packer – 10

This is Marlie Packer’s World Cup and we are all along for the ride! Didn’t put a foot wrong all night, tireless in defence and brutally efficient going forward, as evinced by her hattrick of tries.

8. Sarah Hunter – 8

Nobody manages the ball at the back of the scrum quite like Hunter who ensured that England’s scrum dominance was rewarded time and again. Scored England’s first try to a rapturous response from the stands.

9. Leanne Infante – 7.5

Always buzzing about, keeping England’s tempo high and making a few breaks herself.

10. Zoe Harrison – 6.5

A quiet night from Harrison as England played almost exclusively through the forwards. Kicked well when called upon and made one nice break that was unfortunately called back.

11. Abby Dow – 7

Kept herself busy, cutting inside to look for work and drawing defenders time and again. Looking back to her best as a winger who is not only a scoring threat but very sound defensively too.

12. Tatyana Heard – 7

Heard will be kicking herself for being at fault for Australia’s first try, but otherwise a hard-hitting performance that outlined why she forced her inclusion in the squad. Brought the sort of physical presence that England will need against a rugged Canada side next weekend.

13. Emily Scarratt – 6

A quiet night for the former World Player of the Year. Poor kicking from the tee can be blamed on the conditions but Scarratt was also quieter than normal around the park.

14. Lydia Thompson – 5

You’d be forgiven for forgetting Lydia Thompson was in the team, so small was her involvement. A nice run in the first five minutes promised excitement but thereafter Thompson was a peripheral figure as the ball rarely ventured to her wing.

15. Helena Rowland – 6.5

Rowland had a few noticeable fumbles with the ball which took the shine off a dangerous performance at full back. Always looking for space and in drier conditions she would have been a real menace. Slotted the one conversion she stepped up for too.

16. Lark Davies – 6

Davies’ first appearance of the tournament was a solid, if unspectacular one. Carried on England’s line out dominance.

17. Hannah Botterman – 7

Threatened to score with her first touch. Botterman is a perfect bench option, bringing a disruptive energy that opposition teams always struggle to contain.

18. Maud Muir – 6

Muir was very solid at set piece and seems to grow as a defensive player with every appearance.

19. Rosie Galligan – 6

Came on for Ward and kept the line-out ticking.

20. Poppy Cleall – 7

Cleall, on for Sarah Hunter, provided a different edge to the Red Roses set piece, a running threat and a combative defender. A performance that will cause Simon Middleton headaches as he tries to fit all his back row options into just three starting spots.

21. Lucy Packer – 6.5

A steady presence, Packer maintained England’s momentum and added a little zip of her own.

22. Holly Aitchison – 6

Didn’t have a lot of time to impose herself on the game but didn’t put a foot wrong either.

23. Ellie Kildunne – 6.5

Made the most of the drier conditions available by the time she joined the fray with a few of her trademark mazy runs.



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