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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

England player ratings after dramatic Six Nations defeat by Scotland

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Will Macpherson was in Edinburgh to run the rule over Eddie Jones’ players…

Backs

15 Freddie Steward – 5

The toughest game of his short England career? Had some good moments and has all the ingredients to be outstanding, but sliced a kick and dropped a high ball under no pressure.

14 Max Malins – 7

Was a busy boy, clocking up more than 100m across nine carries, and was safe under the high ball. Has a lovely all-court game.

13 Elliot Daly – 6

Back in his preferred position for the first time since November 2016. A promising start, but snuffed out by Chris Harris. Ideally, England would have had a bit more clout in the centre.

12 Henry Slade – 6

As one of three vice-captains, Slade suddenly felt like the wise old head of this backline, having been the coming man for so long. Was much more in the thick of it than he sometimes is, but didn’t find too much headway.

11 Joe Marchant – 5

A tough ask to come straight in after a week in isolation, and was a peripheral figure. Missed a tackle on Darcy Graham – who had a sensational game – for Scotland’s first try, and did not see much ball. Was a surprise that Jack Nowell was not seen sooner.

10 Marcus Smith – 8

This was Smith’s first international away from Twickenham, and his Six Nations debut. He looked assured and lively, and scored all of England’s points. Was excellent, but not perfect, missing one kick for goal, one for touch, and one cross kick.

9 Ben Youngs – 6

Accounted for about a quarter of England’s caps, but did not provide the solidity they required. There was a first-half break and his pass for Smith’s try was neat, but some of his box-kicking was inaccurate and he should have been zippier.

Forwards

1 Ellis Genge – 6

Was England’s match-winner off the bench in awful conditions at Murrayfield two years ago, and was handed a start and leadership responsibility this time. Gave away a key penalty on the stroke of half-time, that Russell kicked.

2 Luke Cowan-Dickie – 5

A wild old game for one of Jones’ new vice-captains. Did his nuts and bolts well, hitting his man at the lineout. But should not have kicked the ball in Scotland’s 22, and his slap into touch was hugely costly for England. Should not have been left in that situation, however.

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