Saturday’s two games would have left your average English supporter satisfied in terms of witnessing quality rugby. Firstly, England put in their best performance so far in the Rugby World Cup against Romania in Dunedin. 10 tries, including hat-tricks for both Mark Cueto and Chris Ashton on the wings, were all clinically carried out as England showed less of the hesitation and handling errors that plagued them against Georgia and Argentina.
Admittedly, this was not exactly the hardest of opposition. Romania rested several of their key players, either completely or by leaving them on the bench. But you can only play what’s in front of you, and the way England scored their tries showed that they can actually attack.
Meanwhile, Richie McCaw may have got the result he really wanted, but no one could have expected the manner of the performance. New Zealand make Rugby look painfully easy. Their tries were scintillating; the lines, handling and finishing ability second to none. The power of McCaw and Jerome Kaino, the raw pace of Israel Dagg and Richard Kahui, and then the brilliance of Dan Carter at the core mean that New Zealand are set apart from the rest. After this performance, surely no one can stop them.
What were your thoughts on the two matches?