Just finished watching England beat the USA 45-7 at the Rugby World Cup, which is currently being played in Japan and I still have the pundits plaudits ringing in my ears.
This result is the second win for England and they lead the table with a maximum of 10 points after beating Tonga 35-3 in the previous game. However I may be being a bit critical but I have been alarmed by the number of handling errors by the England team.
There are plenty of great teams in this World Cup and I can see this England team struggling when they come up against superior opposition. They have a tough game against Argentina but the real test will be the game against France, though a loss there might not affect England's progression to the knock out phase.
Both wins have been pretty straightforward for England, however I found it quite strange that with time up England didn't just kick the ball out whilst they had the chance thereby taking a 45-0 win and not risking further injury. Johnny Wilkinson said the clock never came quite soon enough but the game was clearly in the red time zone with England in possession and a chance to just end the game right there and then.
Instead England carried the game on and the ball briefly became a hot potato, USA wanted it more and bundled the ball over for a late try, the conversion gave them 7 points and a little bit more respect and denied England the first clean sheet of the tournament.
We also saw the first red card of the tournament, with John Quill cynically body checking an England player (Owen Farrell) to the head which then resulted in some ugly scenes which thankfully the referee managed to get control off before it got out of hand.
An England win against Argentina (not a given) will ensure the team progress to the knock out phase, there is a possibility then that they put out a weakened team against France, but they will have one eye on who they may face in the knock out phase. Wales or Australia are the likely opponents on offer for the winners and runners up in group C and I am sure that Australia will be a team to be avoided, though to win a World Cup at any event you do have to beat the tops teams at some point.
Looking at the betting and England are currently second favourites on Betfair to win the competition and can be opposed at odds of 6. I certainly think this looks very good value with New Zealand obvious favourites with the bookies. I certainly don't rate England as the currently second best team in the tournament and I am more than happy to lay them for 6 on Betfair.
Shame the tournament isn't available on BetScorum, I would be putting a fair amount of SCR against England today but alas at the moment it is still just Football that is available.