England player ratings vs All Blacks: Borthwick's men fall short - Ruck

England player ratings vs All Blacks: Borthwick’s men fall short

England player ratings vs All Blacks from the first test of the series in Dunedin.

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New Zealand clinched a narrow 16-15 victory over England in a gripping opening Test in Dunedin, marking a successful start to Scott Robertson’s tenure as head coach.

Damian McKenzie’s two second-half penalties were pivotal in overturning England’s lead, which had been established by Immanuel Feyi-Waboso’s try.

At half-time, the score was level, with Sevu Reece and Ardie Savea crossing the line for the All Blacks, while Maro Itoje’s try, converted by Marcus Smith, kept England in the contest.

Scroll down for England player ratings vs All Blacks:

England player ratings vs All Blacks:

15. George Furbank 7.5

A solid outing from the Northampton Saints man, as Furbank made some clattering hits and covered well in defence. Under the cosh from the word go as TJ Perenara and Finlay Christie peppered the back-field with high balls, but Furbank held his own and made a few strong running lines to boot.

14. Immanuel Feyi-Waboso 7.5

With so much of the build up this week coming from Sevu Reece not knowing much about Manny Feyi-Waboso, the All Blacks will certainly know who the England wing is after today’s match. Feyi-Waboso was rapid along the touch-line, and put excellent pressure upon McKenzie when chasing down kicks. Marked his first cap against New Zealand with a try, in an impressive outing in Dunedin.

13. Henry Slade 6.5

England’s classy midfield playmaker had a mixed bag today, as he stood up well defensively at the gain-line, but took to long at times to get the ball to his outside men. The Chiefs man was amongst the experienced core group that beat the All Blacks in 2019, and led his youthful back-line throughout the hard-fought Test.

12. Ollie Lawrence 6.5

Not the best performance the Bath man has ever produced, but there was certainly some positive elements to take away from Dunedin. Lawrence made a key turnover to halt the All Blacks in the first half, and contributed a couple of key carries to get his side over the gain-line. Despite having done his homework on Jordie Barrett and Reiko Ioane, the experienced All Blacks midfielders took Lawrence to school at times.

11. Tommy Freeman 6.5

Once more, a mixed bag, middle of the road performance from a member of the England back-line. Once more, the positive focus was on Freeman’s defensive efforts, as he nullified some of the threats from Mark Telea, but could not protect the ball upon his own carries. Hopeful for more for the second Test in Auckland, as the high flying Saint didnt hit his feared top gear in Dunedin.

10. Marcus Smith 7

Not the afternoon that Marcus would have wanted from the tee, despite a solid performance in orchestrating his back-line around the park. The Harlequin was name checked by All Blacks captain Scott Barrett as a player his side had their eye on, and it was abundantly clear that Smith’s highlights had been playing in the All Blacks camp throughout the week. Smith left eight points on the pitch, which proved to be costly come the narrow score-line at full-time.

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