England vs Japan player ratings: George Ford and Joe Cokanasiga inspire comeback victory

Man-for-man marking from England's 35-15 victory over Japan

Jack de Menezes
Twickenham
Sunday 18 November 2018 00:32
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England escaped potential embarrassment with a comeback victory over Japan, ensuring that they got back to winning ways at Twickenham.

Eddie Jones knew of the threat that his former side Japan faced, but not even he would have expected the first half that unfolded on the third Quilter International of the autumn, especially as England took the lead in the third minute.

A break down the wing from debutant Joe Cokanasiga saw the ball transferred through Jamie George to Danny Care, with the scrum-half darting over to open the scoring. But any hopes of an easy victory were soon dispatched as Japan fought back with as good as they got, and George's early trip to the sin-bin only helped their cause.

After fly-half Yu Tamura kicked a penalty for Japan, the Brave Blossoms hit back with a simple play off the scrum seeing centre Ryoto Nakamura sidestep Alex Lozowski to score beneath the posts.

George Ford levelled soon after with his first penalty, but Japan struck again. Akihito Yamada managed to offload the ball to flanker Michael Leitch, and the impressive captain wriggled free of Care's tackle, evaded Dylan Hartley and Harry Williams and wrong-footed last man Elliot Daly to score.

The 15-10 lead at the break sent out the alarm bells, and Jones responded by sending on Owen Farrell. The presence of the England co-captain brought calmness to England's cause, and from there-on in the recovery began. Ford kicked his second penalty soon after, before the fly-half sent Mark Wilson over for his first international try with smart play.

Joe Cokanasiga celebrates scoring his first try for England on his debut

From there England were able to kick on and a loose high kick found its way into George's arms, who passed to a springing Richard Wigglesworth outside him and the scrum-half sent Cokanasiga over for a try in his debut. There was enough time for Ford to and a final penalty before the team combined to shove Hartley over from a catch and drive to round out the scoring.

So how did the players perform? Click on the gallery above to find out.

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