Australia

Player ratings: British backlash

Sat, 02 Nov 2013 17:13
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They managed to turn things around after half-time to end Australian hopes of a Grand Slam early
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England had to come from behind to take the Cook Cup off Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.

Two second-half tries saw the hosts secure a morale-boosting 20-13 victory over the Wallabies who are enduring a horror year.

It was the first match of the international season for England and it showed in the first half as they battled to shake off some rust, but they managed to turn things around after half-time to end Australian hopes of a Grand Slam early.

The win was built on forward dominance, as their pack was dominant at scrum-time, and despite a shaky line-out they managed to keep the Wallabies on the back foot with their physicality at the breakdown.

We rate the England players:

15 Mike Brown  
Top performance, his positional play was spot on. He did well in the air and made a couple of great runs, stepping past defenders easily.
8/10

14 Chris Ashton
Did not get many chances with the ball in space as he was generally shut down quickly. His defence was exposed a few times as he tends to slip off tackles.
5/10

13 Joel Tomkins
Solid on defence, he made a couple of important hits, but also recieved a massive hand-off from his opposite number and did not really penetrate on attack, with his handling letting him down.
6/10

12 Billy Twelvetrees
A shaky outing for the young centre who was run over by Matt Toomua en route to the tryline and never really recovered. Straightened the line on attack but did not beat many tackles.
5/10

11 Marland Yarde  
An enthusiastic display which saw him chase hard and compete in the air which helped to disrupt the Wallabies. Perhaps a bit too eager to impress, making a late and an early tackle.
6/10

10 Owen Farrell  
A mixed bag as he was erratic, but made a couple of key contributions. He was wayward off the kicking tee and made a few handling errors but his tactical kicking was spot on and he showed impressive speed off the mark to score his try.
7/10

9 Lee Dickson
A solid game behind the scrum, he kicked well and try to inject some urgency by running hard, but battled to get the ball away to the backline quickly enough.
6/10

8 Billy Vunipola  
A big game for the young loose forward who was strong in the tackle, and managed to brush off defenders fairly easily in a powerful game.
8/10

7 Chris Robshaw
The skipper led by example well, working hard at the breakdown and taking the game to the opposition on top of making a great pick-up to score his try.
8/10

6 Tom Wood  
A committed performance as he got in the Wallabies' faces and hit the rucks hard in a powerful game.
7/10

5 Courtney Lawes  
Did not make a big impact in open play as he was watched closely by Wallaby defenders and had a disappointing time in the line-outs.
5/10

4 Joe Launchbury
Injected some crucial physicality and got through plenty of work in the tight exchanges, but his handling let him down a few times.
6/10

3  Dan Cole
Very solid as he gave James Slipper a rough time in the scrums. Gave away a breakdown penalty but did more than his share of defensive work.
7/10

2 Tom Youngs  
Struggled to find his jumpers in the line-outs, and had some trouble hooking the ball. Wasn't able to make much of an impact with the ball in hand but tackled hard.
5/10

1 Mako Vunipola
Did well against Ben Alexander in the scrums and made good ground when he got the chance to take the Australian defence on.
710

Replacements:

16 Dylan Hartley (On for Youngs, 54 mins)
Made a noticeable impact when he came on, his line-outs were good and he brought some urgency but also nudged Stephen Moore off the ball in the lead-up to Farrell's try.
7/10

17 Joe Marler (On for Vunipola, 54 mins)
Came on and off, but did not let his side down in any area.
6/10


18 David Wilson (On for Cole, 68 mins)
Did not give an inch in the scrums, but also dropped it cold.
6/10

19 Dave Attwood (On for Launchbury, 75 mins)
Not enough time to be rated.


20 Ben Morgan (On for Vunipola, 66 mins)
Added some grunt up front as England overpowered the Wallabies in the second half.
7/10

21 Ben Youngs (On for Dickson, 55 mins)
Provided good quick ball and added some urgency as England fought their way back.
7/10

22 Toby Flood (On for Twelvetrees, 66 mins)
Stood his ground as Australia threw everything at England.
6/10

23 Ben Foden
Not used.

By Michael de Vries

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