England welcomed Wales to Twickenham for the second round of the 2024 Six Nations on Saturday, with the home side coming through victorious 16-14.
It was an impressive first-half performance by Wales that put England on the back foot. England conceded two players to the sin-bin, shipping almost as many points in that time. It was England’s resilience and relative experience over their Severn Bridge neighbours that proved important in the end, as Steve Borthwick’s men eventually returned from the depths of defeat to vanquish their attackers.
Check out our player ratings below:
15 Freddie Steward – 9.5
A Brilliant first break. solid under the high ball. Threatened every time. One of his best performances in an England shirt.
14 Tommy Freeman – 6
Solid performance by a player that displays very few weaknesses. Still doesn’t strike fear in opposition defences like previous wingers in his position, however, so will need to remain consistent if he is to keep his place long-term.
13 Henry Slade – 4.5
Made couple of handling mistakes early on in the match followed up by a couple of wayward kicks. The 30-year-old has huge amounts of international pedigree and experience in the bank, so will no doubt bounce back from this performance.
12 Fraser Dingwall – 6.5
Largely invisible during the match but took his try well, diving over in the corner for what would typically be called a wingers finish.
11 Elliot Daly – 7
England needed his experience today, with the Saracens man proving to be a calming presence in the squad.
10 George Ford – 9
He controlled proceedings well throughout, trusting his charismatic boot with the most challenging of nudges. He made the right decisions at the right time, with his key moment being the supreme 50/22 that eventually led to the match winning penalty.
9 Alex Mitchell – 7
Conducted the forward orchestra with quick tempo. He’s looking more and more assured in England shirt with each passing match.
1 Will Stuart – 5
Hauled off in the 50th minute after struggling to impose his mountable size over the young welsh pack.
2 Jamie George – 6.5
Led the side well as well as supplying the side with a seamless set peices.
3 Joe Marler – 5
Please see Stuart.
4 Maro Itoje – 6
Very quiet game for his lofty standards. His previous issues with ill-discipline rose its ugly head early on with a needless penalty, but his ferociously competitive character became a huge part of the England comeback.
5 Ollie Chessum – 7.5
Despite being sent to the bunker for a high tackle, the giant lock was unstoppable. Everywhere on the park and dominant in every tackle, probably England’s first choice second row, now.
6 Ethan Roots – 6
He started strong with a quality first carry, but allowed his performance to be undone with an early yellow card. Was rarely seen with ball in hand afterwards.
7 Underhill – 7
Underhill, under the radar. A huge rib breaker hit at the end of the first half came out of nowhere, much like many of his performances. Constantly working hard and doing the dirty work – will always be found at the bottom of a ruck or rearranging an opponents ribs.
8 Earl – 9
Quality carries throughout and cleaned up lose balls like they were grenades. Typical powerful running for his first try and was a standout player in both halves. Proving once again to be one of England’s best players.
Replacements: The introduction of Front row partnership, Ellis Genge and Dan Cole in the 52nd minute was a masterstroke. They dominated a welsh scrum that had previously held out against the starters. Chandler Cunningham-South hit hard when he came on and Danny Care rolled back the years as he stepped up the England control again some.
Stadium – 7
A few golf claps, but otherwise a dead and dreary atmosphere in the first half. It livened up as the match hit the pinnacle, with ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot booming around each and every seat.