England 24-26 Combined Nations All Stars: Player ratings and major talking points

In a pulsating international, England came up short against the Combined Nations All Stars proving that Shaun Wane still has work to do if he’s going to get his side ready to compete for the World Title this Autumn. It was a difficult night for England as they lost a couple of players to early injuries whilst the Englishmen playing for the opposition impressed.

Major Talking Points:

1. A costly night for clubs

Who is Wigan’s main star? Some would say John Bateman. For Leeds the answer might be Ash Handley, Huddersfield clearly Aidan Sezer and Hull FC Jake Connor. All of them went off injured tonight. Bateman was the first to be withdrawn before the debuting Handley failed his HIA. Then late in the game Sezer and Connor went off for the Combined Nations making things tougher for the All Stars. It was already a fixture criticised for its placement and for the strain it put on Super League squads. The plethora of injuries that occurred tonight will no doubt have frustrated clubs even more.

2. Attacks shine but defence doesn’t

Some fantastic tries were scored tonight. Liam Farrell and Morgan Knowles scored showed pace beyond that expected of forwards to grab their tries whilst fast hands led to a number of lovely scores. However, most often, defence dominates internationals as we all saw in the last World Cup Final. That wasn’t the case tonight with both sides looking flimsy on their own lines. When a penalty was awarded a try often followed. England must change that if they’re going to challenge for the World Cup this year.

3. English All-Stars impress

A lot of the focus coming into the game sat on the shoulders of the English players fielded by the All Stars. Although Jake Connor was bamboozled by Farrell for England’s opener, he was perhaps the most creative player on the field. Meanwhile, Jermaine McGillvary crossed the whitewash and Jackson Hasting controlled much of the game. Kruise Leeming was perhaps the surprise package off the bench kicking a 40/20 and being a constant threat from attacking half.

Player Ratings:

England
1 Sam Tomkins – 7
5 Tom Davies – 7
3 Reece Lyne – 7
4 Ben Currie – 6
2 Tommy Makinson – 6
6 Stefan Ratchford – 6
7 Luke Gale – 7
8 Morgan Knowles – 8
9 Paul McShane – 6
10 Mike Cooper – 8
11 John Bateman – N/A
12 Liam Farrell – 9
13 Joe Westerman – 6
Substitutes
14 Ash Handley – N/A
15 Daryl Clark – 6
16 Mikolaj Oledzki – 8
17 Joe Philbin – 6

Combined Nations
1 Jake Connor – 8
2 Ken Sio – 7
3 Peter Mata’utia – 9
4 Ricky Leutele – 7
5 Jermaine McGillvary – 7
6 Jackson Hastings – 8
7 Aidan Sezer – 7
8 Matt Prior – 6
9 Nathan Peats – 7
10 Chris Satae – 7
11 Kenny Edwards – 7
12 Kelepi Tanginoa – 7
13 Luke Yates – 7
Substitutes
14 Kruise Leeming – 8
15 Pauli Pauli – 6
16 Suaia Matangi – 6
17 Andre Savelio – 7

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