"Unbelievable player" - Sir Clive Woodward ranks England's three best players against Fiji - Ruck

“Unbelievable player” – Sir Clive Woodward ranks England’s three best players against Fiji

Sir Clive Woodward shared his thoughts on some of England’s standout performers as Steve Borthwick’s side triumphed over Fiji in the World Cup quarter-final.

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Tries from Manu Tuilagi and Joe Marchant as well as 11 points from the boot of Farrell had given England a handy 21-10 lead at half-time.

However, the Flying Fijians roared back into the game in the second half, scoring tries through Peni Ravai and Vilimoni Botitu to level things at 24-24.

In the end it was England fly-half and captain Farrell who settled things for the 2003 champions, kicking a drop goal to regain the lead before slotting a late penalty to secure victory and a place in the last four.

In his column for the Mail Online, Woodward expressed high praise for captain Owen Farrell, stating, “Playing Farrell at 10 was exactly the right decision, he cannot play 12. If there is one lesson from the game in Marseille on Sunday it is that he plays fly-half or nowhere.”

Woodward continued, “He was in the middle of everything as England put in their best display under Borthwick since he took over before the Six Nations.”

Shifting his attention to the back-row, Woodward added, “Across the board there were positives but Courtney Lawes was immense.

“Ben Earl will get a lot of credit but Lawes had a real standout game again in the back row and seems to be getting better.”

Five players who underperformed in the World Cup quarter-finals

We take a look at five players who failed to perform in the quarter-finals of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

#1. Andrew Porter (Ireland)

Irish Independent 5/10: “Pinged twice in the opening minutes, once at the breakdown and once in the scrum. Indeed, he drew the whistle from Wayne Barnes in two of the game’s first three scrums. Running dialogue with the ref but seemed frustrated throughout.”

Planet Rugby 3/10: “His illegalities at the scrum finally caught up with him as Wayne Barnes continually penalised Porter for not driving straight. However, it was his needless infringement in the opening minute which set the tone.”

RUCK 5/10:Penalised in an early scrum, as his hips were too wide in the pack. A big hit on Will Jordan on the 20th phase, as Ireland defended strong. Couldn’t support Doris in time for his carry, as the number eight was isolated, and Porter couldn’t stop Savea’s turnover. Penalised twice more in the scrum for the same offence, in a performance he would want to forget in the pack. “