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Wales 40-24 England: Six Nations player ratings from Cardiff

Gerard Meagher
·5-min read
<span>Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian</span>
Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian


Liam Williams So reliable under high ball and alert to deny Itoje after charge down. Was on hand to finish Wales’ controversial second try. 9

Louis Rees-Zammit Everything he touches turns to gold – even when he promptly drops it. Proved he had the pace to beat May late on. 6

Related: Sheedy holds nerve as Wales make England pay in Six Nations thriller

George North Clearly emotional during the anthems on his 100th cap and left everything out there. Excelled in defence. 8

Jonathan Davies Lasted 50 minutes on a solid if unspectacular return. Jury remains out on his centre partnership with North. 6

Josh Adams Marked first match back from bubble breach ban with a try and was busy without really imposing himself. 7

Dan Biggar Smart kick for Adams’ try and a fierce competitor for his 45 minutes on the field. Excellent from the tee. 7

Kieran Hardy Charged down by Itoje but didn’t let it faze him. Only his fourth cap but it didn’t show and caught England napping for try. 7

Wyn Jones Came into the match in fine fettle but came up against a worthy competitor in Sinckler. No major complaints. 6

Ken Owens Has brought so much in terms of experience on his return to the side. One or two wobbles at the lineout but gave his all. 7

Tomas Francis Bloodied but unbowed. A decent showing from the Exeter Chief who enjoyed coming up against a few of his clubmates. 6

Adam Beard Came up with an important steal at the lineout and got through his usual mountain of work. Made a few carries. 7

Alun Wyn Jones (capt) Staggering to think this was his 23rd consecutive start against England. A calming influence on his side. 8

Josh Navidi A truckload of tackles and part of a back row that came out on top. Cardiff contests often come down to that area of the game. 8

Justin Tipuric Seems unthinkable he couldn’t get a game for Wales not that long ago. Blue scrum cap makes him stand out; so does his class. 8

Taulupe Faletau Always seems to relish the battle with his close friend Billy Vunipola and came out on top. Faletau has footwork to die for. 9

REPLACEMENTS Elliot Dee (for Owens 63) 7; Rhodri Jones (for W Jones 63) 6; Leon Brown (for Francis 67) N/A; Cory Hill (for Beard 56) Another try against England 7; James Botham (for Navidi 70) N/A; Gareth Davies (for Hardy 65) 6; Callum Sheedy (for Biggar 45) Made huge difference 8; Willis Halaholo (for Davies 51) Dangerous runner 6.


Elliot Daly Began promisingly, finally playing with head up and eyes open, but some dreadful errors crept in again as the pressure gauge moved up a couple of notches. 5

Anthony Watson Was excellent against Italy and came up with another well-taken try here. One of England’s better performers. 7

Henry Slade Had the opportunity to glide through a few gaps but you are so often left wanting him to really grab the game by the scruff. 6

Owen Farrell (capt) Will make headlines for losing cool with Gauzere, even if he had a valid argument. Couldn’t sort out England’s discipline. 5

Jonny May After his duel with Rees-Zammit was hyped, neither really lived up to their billing. A pretty quiet tournament hitherto. 5

Related: Gaüzère wasn’t the only man making mistakes – England made plenty | Andy Bull

George Ford Fizzed some passes around. England’s attack was more fluid but game management was not there. 6

Ben Youngs An impressive showing overall with one clever snipe in the first half and a delightful pass to free Slade. Then came up with the try. 7

Mako Vunipola One of those matches where he looks like he’s been playing for weeks on end when he trudges off. 6

Jamie George Had a point to prove after recall and while lineout wasn’t flawless he came up with the key pass to put Watson away. 5

Kyle Sinckler Set about his business with usual tenacity. As Eddie Jones would say, a zoo tiger not a jungle tiger. 6

Maro Itoje Four penalties against in 28 minutes is not good enough but some were on the harsh side. A nuisance but a serial offender. 4

Jonny Hill Important lineout steal with England under pressure but at fault for the penalty from which Hardy scored his try. 4

Mark Wilson Called in to add work-rate and breakdown nous. The former is a given with Wilson but had his work cut out at the latter. 5

Tom Curry Industry typified by charge down and got better and better. Could have done with Sam Underhill or Jack Willis next to him. 6

Billy Vunipola In his own words, had been playing “rubbish” but came up with a few gallops. Getting there, but still not quite at his best. 6

REPLACEMENTS Luke Cowan-Dickie (for George 60) Solid 6; Ellis Genge (for M Vunipola 67) Gave away penalty 5; Charlie Ewels (for Hill 58) Ill-disciplined 5; Ben Earl (for Wilson 70) Surely time for a start now 6; Dan Robson (for Youngs 70) Silly penalty against 5; Max Malins (for Daly 75) n/a