Wales 13-24 England: player ratings from the Autumn Nations Cup

Sam Underhill the driving force behind England victory as Samson Lee and the Wales scrum are horribly exposed

Sam Underhill attempts to charge down a kick by Rhys Webb
The impressive Sam Underhill attempts to charge down a kick by Rhys Webb. Photograph: Robbie Stephenson/Inpho/Rex/Shutterstock
The impressive Sam Underhill attempts to charge down a kick by Rhys Webb. Photograph: Robbie Stephenson/Inpho/Rex/Shutterstock
Gerard Meagher
at Parc y Scarlets

Last modified on Sun 29 Nov 2020 23.36 EST


Leigh Halfpenny Dropped the first high kick that came his way and wasn’t great from the tee but never shies away from the challenge. 6/10

Josh Adams Fierce competitor in the air but no opportunity to repeat his try-scoring feat of 2019. Didn’t get a chance to stretch his legs. 5

Nick Tompkins Missed one tackle but on the whole he brings a reliability to the Wales defence, honed over the years at Saracens. 6

Johnny Williams Represented England at age‑grade level and played with a point to prove. Took try well and thundered into tackles. 8

Louis Rees-Zammit Nearly slipped past Watson down the left then denied the England wing what looked a certain try in his corner. 6

Dan Biggar Typically competitive. Charged down Slade and kicked ahead for Williams try. Rallied troops to keep Wales in with a sniff. 7

Lloyd Williams His first start for four years and looked a bit off the pace. Caught when the ball was out of the ruck at one point. 5

Wyn Jones Picked largely to add oomph to the scrum but Wales came off a clear second best. Conceded a penalty at breakdown. 5

Ryan Elias Made plenty of meaty tackles and ran a solid lineout. Coughed up one panicked knock-on, though. Little carrying impact. 5

Samson Lee Struggled badly at scrum time and was replaced just a few minutes into the second half. No impact in the loose, either. 4

Jake Ball Carried hard and got through plenty of work. Always rolls up his sleeves but came up against formidable opponents. 6

Alun Wyn Jones (capt) A 22nd match in a row against England for the captain, who kept his side in the fight when visitors might have pulled clear. 7

Shane Lewis-Hughes Part of a new-look back row, with Tipuric and Navidi among the absentees, but got stuck in and made his share of tackles. 6

James Botham Beefy by name and by nature given some of the hits he put in – one on Vunipola echoed round empty stadium. Bright future. 7

Taulupe Faletau Such a classy operator and so often makes the extra yard with his footwork. Relished the duel with old friend Billy Vunipola. 7

REPLACEMENTS Elliot Dee (for Elias, 48) Struggled for impact 5; Rhys Carré (for Jones, 70) n/a; Tomas Francis (for Lee, 43) Involved in afters 6; Will Rowlands (for Ball, 48) Rolled up his sleeves 6; Aaron Wainwright (for Lewis-Hughes, 55) 5; Rhys Webb (for L Williams, 48) Looked more assured 6; Callum Sheedy (for Halfpenny, 67) 6; Owen Watkin (for Tompkins, 74) n/a


Elliot Daly Jinked in midfield a couple of times but was targeted aerially in second half. Took a bang to his left foot but soldiered on. 7/10

Jonathan Joseph Managed to find space out wide in the first half with England a bit more willing to play but couldn’t slip the leash. 6

Henry Slade Charged down for opening try but made amends by finishing off England’s first score. Well shackled for the main part. 6

Owen Farrell (capt) Missed first two kicks at goal and took a little time to get used to playing at 12 again. Hasn’t been at his best this autumn. 7

Jonny May No fireworks but showed the less glamorous side of his game. Defended well - particularly under the high ball - worked hard. 6

George Ford Such a different proposition at fly-half. Ran with it on occasion and put more width on the ball. Kicking wasn’t great though. 6

Ben Youngs A few wayward kicks but provided club-mate Ford with decent service and looked to snipe more than against Ireland. 7

Mako Vunipola Has responded superbly to losing his place earlier in the year. Scored from close range and emptied the tank again. 8

Jamie George One of the more audible voices on the pitch and you couldn’t fault his lineout throwing. Tough tackler who sets the tone. 8

Kyle Sinckler Opponents did their best to get under his skin but he kept his composure and scrummaged well. Denied a try by Halfpenny. 7

Maro Itoje Showed soft hands to release Underhill and character during England’s sticky spell in the first half. Gave away a silly penalty. 7

Joe Launchbury An industrious performance. Enjoyed driving Alun Wyn Jones back a few metres, not so much the patronising pat on the head. 6

Tom Curry Came up with an important turnover just before half-time and a willing carrier. Came off for a HIA and did not return. 7

Sam Underhill nother hugely impressive performance, making inroads with ball in hand as well as his usual defensive effort. 9

Billy Vunipola England’s top tackler and made the most metres too. Looks in excellent shape and improving the more regularly he plays. 8

REPLACEMENTS Luke Cowan-Dickie (for George, 67) 6; Ellis Genge (for M Vunipola, 67) Involved in flare-up with Francis 6; Will Stuart (for Sinckler, 73) n/a; Jonny Hill (for Launchbury, 67) 6; Ben Earl (for Underhill, 74) n/a; Jack Willis (for Curry, 61) Trademark turnover 7; Dan Robson (for Youngs, 77) n/a; Anthony Watson (for Joseph, 52) Almost scored 7