The first round of the wretched pool matches is now underway. The rains held off for the opening ceremony but alas kicked it on Saturday and Sunday. Wales were denied a win against the Springboks because there is no appeal allowed by a team and so a penalty kick that just went over was ruled nor to have (why not introduce the Tennis equivalent of 1 each per team per half?).
England were abject, Scotland and Ireland were no better whereas Wales showed real verve and could yet be the surprise team. The All Blacks were on cruise control - you never want to show everything you can do in your opening game - and South Africa and Australia were rusty notwithstanding all the rugby they have played these past 2 months. The fact is it counted for nothing - a world cup is different.
Now most of the senior teams have cleared their collective throats they should settle down in their next round of matches. My sense is that it is unlikely there will be any breakthroughs this time round as there was in 1991 when Canada made it through to the QF or 2007 when Argentina played through to the SF.