Italy 47-22 Namibia
Italy recorded the highest score of the World Cup so far, in damp conditions with torrential rain for a time. It wasn’t terribly pretty to watch, with handling errors and scrums galore, but Italy looked reasonable once they took control of the game after 25 minutes or so.
It seems to be a theme of the tournament so far, with Tier 2 Nations causing a few problems early on before the gulf in class finally tells later in the match. Although to be fair, that’s probably a theme in International Rugby generally.
A last-minute try for Namibia ensured my Namibia +31 bet came in!
Ireland 27-3 Scotland
It was supposed to be a little closer than this, but Ireland won comfortably and should now win Pool A, avoiding New Zealand in the quarter-finals. The Scots were incredibly disappointed after the game, not even to make a game of it, and Gregor Townsend lamented the lack of energy and aggression – odd given the huge build-up to the World Cup, and the fact that they were starting with their most important fixture.
I was on kids’ tag rugby duty in Cheltenham so I didn’t see the whole game, so let me know if I missed anything exciting.
England eventually won fairly comfortably, but it wasn’t terribly pretty. Tonga forced a number of errors and the penalty count could have been a disaster against more able opposition.
Tonga frustrated England for 60 minutes, but they never really looked like scoring and it was England’s ineptitude that preventing them pulling clear. The 4th try bonus point looked in doubt with 5 minutes to go, but Luke Cowan-Dickie crossed late on to avoid any calamity.
There were lots of basic errors from England, with several dropped passes early on in England’s attacking plays, and there were a few shots of Eddie Jones looking particularly displeased in the stands. This wasn’t exactly a performance that would make the rest of the teams sit up and take notice, and they never looked like reaching the 43-point margin to cover the handicap! It was only my second lost bet of the tournament so far though, so overall it’s going pretty well on that front.
We’ll have some player ratings and more reaction coming up, but let us know what you thought of the game and the rest of the day’s action.
Day 4 Preview
Wales v Georgia, 11.15
There’s only one fixture on Monday as Wales become the last major nation to take their bow in the tournament. The Georgians often become crowd favourites at World Cups, and with Mamuka Gorgodze coming out of retirement, they’ll have plenty of support once again. They are a big, passionate team that will give everything to the cause, and whilst I don’t think they’ll trouble Wales, they’ll be eyeing up 3rd place in this pool and automatic qualification for the next World Cup.
It’s likely to be a similar story as the other matches so far, with Wales held by Georgia for a while before pulling away for the win.
I’ve picked Wales by 28 on Superbru, and that’s exactly what the bookie handicap is too, so I’m not going to bet on this one.