England vs Ireland player ratings: Who was the star man at Twickenham in World Cup warm-up?

England 21 Ireland 13

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The Independent Online


Mike Brown  7/10

Yet to recapture his fine form from last year’s Six Nations but was exceptionally solid defensively.

Anthony Watson 9/10

A once-in-a-generation player who is Jason Robinson’s true heir. Another exceptional try here.

MATCH REPORT: England 21 Ireland 13

Jonathan Joseph 8/10

Danced through defences, doing so three times in the opening minutes before fading slightly.

Brad Barritt 7/10

Solid defensively without offering as much as his team-mates going forward – but it was ever thus.

Jonny May 9/10

An exceptional, electrifying performance capped with a superb try. Nailed down his place

George Ford 8/10

After the horrors of Paris a welcome return to form as Ford produced a composed, dynamic display.

Ben Youngs 9/10

Exceptional here, sniping around the fringes and a constant menace. A shoe-in for the Fiji game.

Joe Marler 7/10

Strong and abrasive in the loose, but the Harlequins man faded slightly after a bright start.

Tom Youngs 8/10

Superb in the loose but loose in the set-piece – and with the line-out working well his talents shone through.

Dan Cole 6/10

An improvement on Paris but still below-par. England need him to improve quickly.

Geoff Parling 7/10

Shored up the line-out as expected and stole a couple of the Irish into the bargain.

Courtney Lawes 6/10

England’s enforcer was surprisingly quiet, but may be saving himself for the challenges ahead.

Tom Wood 8/10

With James Haskell breathing down his neck Wood needed a performance – and he got one. Superb.

Chris Robshaw 7/10

Praised by the coaches afterwards this was a classic Robshaw performance – an utter nuisance for Ireland.

Ben Morgan 8/10

After 40 minutes’ rugby since January this was just what he needed. Back to his best just in time for World Cup.


Simon Zebo 5/10

Only his fourth start at full-back and inexperience showed as he was out-jumped by Watson for his try.

Tommy Bowe 3/10

Wing’s attempted tackle on May was embarrassing and set the tone for awful Irish first-half. Must do better.

Jared Payne 5/10

Most mortals would struggle in comparison with Brian O’Driscoll and Payne is no different.

Robbie Henshaw 5/10

Poor afternoon summed up by the forward-pass he threw when Ireland had a three-on-two on the break.

Dave Kearney 8/10

The only one of Ireland’s backs to emerge with credit, a challenge on Ford changing the game’s momentum.

Jonny Sexton 5/10

A strangely subdued game, with Ford thoroughly outplaying him. Must improve, and soon.

Conor Murray 6/10

Flinging his forehead into Joe Marler’s hip was never going to be a good idea. Forced off after 18 minutes.

Jamie Heaslip 6/10

Ireland’s game is based on the Heaslip, Murray, Sexton combination and when they fail to fire Ireland struggle.

Jack McGrath 7/10

A perfectly acceptable player but has one key problem – he isn’t Cian Healy. Did well but far from dynamic.

Rory Best 6/10

Within the first quarter wore the look of a man who was sick of being driven backwards.

Mike Ross 5/10

England came at the 35-year-old Leinster prop like a pack of rabid dogs at Twickenham.

Devin Toner 5/10

Ireland’s giant lock was made to appear Lilliputian by England’s early forward effort.

Paul O’Connell 8/10

Ireland’s inspirational skipper dragged his side back into the game with a fine, burrowing try.

Peter O’Mahoney 7/10

Ireland’s top tackler but was outplayed by Tom Wood, failing to bring the physical edge needed.

Sean O’Brien 6/10

Another who suffered in comparison with his opposite number, in this case Chris Robshaw.

How the bench fared

Ireland had a chance to snatch the game but their bench was thoroughly outplayed and out-thought.