England vs Ireland player ratings: Tuilagi back but Arundell wasted and Van Poortvliet needs to sharpen up
England improved their performance in Dublin on Saturday night, but that wasn’t enough to spoil the Six Nations Grand Slam party in Ireland.
Seven days after their record home defeat to France at Twickenham, Steve Borthwick’s side showed much more intensity and physicality from the first whistle, but were dealt a heavy blow at half-time with the Full-back Freddie Steward’s controversial red card for a collision with his counterpart Hugo Keenan.
Still, England continued to fight valiantly with 14 men and even cut the deficit to one point before nervous Ireland pulled away with a trio of late tries to deservedly clinch their fourth Grand Slam.
Standard Sport rugby correspondent Nick Purewal was at the Aviva Stadium to enforce rule over England players.
Freddie Steward 6
Still so masterful under the high ball and extremely unlucky to be sent off.
Anthony Watson 6
Still England’s most dangerous attacking player. They have to find a way to put him on the ball regularly.
Henry Slade 6
Solid glue effort in the England backline.
Manu Tuilagi 6
It is fair to say that the power plant is backtracking on this evidence. England can only hope.
Henry Arundell 5
This rating is absolutely not Arundell’s fault. England promised to use it properly and just didn’t.
Far too good a player to be wasted kicking wide. Coaches must build a system to maximize his incredible talent.
Owen Farrell 6
Kick better off the hand and off the tee and grafted on to take England forward but didn’t have another level.
Jack van Poortvliet 5
Needs to hone basic skills if the plan is just to kick the ball.
Ellis Genge 7
A powerful turn that shows all of his tenacity and determination after the humiliation of France last week.
Jamie George 7
His try was a worthy comeback for a devastated man after the game against France.
Kyle Sinckler 6
Blended in well and got fashionable.
Maro Itoje 6
Some nice moments but still doesn’t seem quite himself.
David Ribbons 6
Held up well for the injured Ollie Chessum.
Lewis Ludlam 6
A real fighter and a handsome man full of promise.
Jack Willis 6
Yellow card aside, it was a shrewd and thrilling display.
Alex Dombrandt 6
Getting on definitely more than last week.
Mako Vunipola (for Genge, 64) 6
Won big melee kill moments.
Dan Cole (for Sinckler, 67) 6
100th fully deserved selection in a great career for the Leicester man.
Nick Isiekwe (for Ribbans, 70) 6
Had precious little time to make things happen.
Ben Curry (for Willis Blood 52-64, for Dombrandt 64) 6
Stirred things up with a grainy projection.
Alex Mitchell (for Van Poortvliet, 70) 6
Barely had time to take effect.
Joe Marchant (for Arundell, 58) 5
Several sloppy moments on a quiet cameo.
Unused: Markus Smith.