But you can never bet against Australia on the big stage.
France beat a tough Italian side 32 -10 with Italy desperately missing their talisman Sergio Parisse through injury. In a battle of David and Goliath, Japan went in at half time trailing 12-10 but came out like warrior poets in the second half with a belief to win. The celebrations proved premature. We have sold packages to clients in 84 countries and that compares to a figure of 30 in previous tournament and that shows the growing global appeal of the game. He dropped the ball in the act of placing it on the line, possibly nudged by May’s arm.
But when it comes to tries, it has to be preferable that the correct decisions are reached rather than wrong ones. He was confident the score was good.
The most contentious issue to date, has been the enhanced use of the TMO.
“We’re carrying five props and at the moment we’ve only got three who can take the field, and we have to have four, so we may have to make a hard call and replace one of the props”.
The answer is that it sets a bad precedent.
Sticking with sporting analogies, the Murray brothers were a fine example of the never-say-die spirit in their heroic Davis Cup doubles victory over Australia on Saturday, capped off by Andy’s delivery of Great Britain’s first final place in 37 years on Sunday.
Pupils from the School’s youngest rugby team were selected for the re-enactment game with 14-year-old Ed Anthony chosen to play Webb Ellis.
On the contrary, stadiums have been packed to the rafters with a sea of colour and noise welcoming all teams, while fans have congregated in their thousands outside the grounds to add further support.
Rugby Travel and Hospitality Limited, which was appointed to manage World Cup hospitality programmes, has sold 90,000 packages for the tournament, compared to the 60,000 sold for the London Olympic Games. Ref Craig Joubert went back to the man upstairs, Shaun Veldsman of South Africa for the second straight night, and they scratched the try. In fact, the TMO should have had a look at the Matawalu grounding and warned Peyper to hold fire. World Rugby said only a third of that was taken up by the TMO, but perception matters. Firstly, players have improved their conditioning to a level which allows them to compete for a full 80 minutes and win collisions.
In the 2014 Six Nations, Stuart Hogg earned a yellow card for a late tackle on Dan Biggar. It is not clear that the referee in question, Jerome Garces, requested the replay or simply witnessed it before brandishing red. We’ve got time but it is running out.
Having won the most penalties and points, the strongest player for England is the 24-year-old Brit Owen Farrell. An unscrupulous or overly patriotic VT grunt could decide not to push the footage that showed the knock on to the match director and no one would be any the wiser.
But opposition to use of the TMO was evident at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday when loud boos greeted the decision by referee Glen Jackson to refer Ireland’s third try, by Jonathan Sexton, in their 50-7 rout of Canada.