Rugby World Cup: Poor England win shows why they’re a threat
Wales will take many more plaudits for their defeat against South Africa than England will for their win against Argentina – but don’t let that fool you.
Martin Johnson’s side may have been less than convincing against the South Americans, but even with a poor performance they still had more than enough to come away with the points.
England are currently second in their pool behind Scotland who picked up a bonus point in their less than emphatic 34-24 victory against a resilient Romanian side.
However, they have beaten probably the toughest opponents in the pool and should have more than enough to see off the Scots and finish top, thus avoiding a potential quarter-final clash with favourites New Zealand.
England are currently overwhelming 1/7 favourites to finish top of their group, ahead of Scotland who are priced at 11/2.
Meanwhile, Wales have it all to do after their spirited but ultimately fruitless game against defending champions South Africa.
The Welsh are third in their pool after picking up a losing bonus point in a 17-16 defeat.
It could have been so different for Wales if James Hook has slotted a late penalty over, but the South Africans kept possession well in the final minutes and a familiar tale was once again told.
Wales may have performed well but their inability to kill the game off when they were in charge for much of the second half shows why it’s hard to consider them genuine challengers.
South Africa should steamroller their way to finishing top of the pool meaning Wales are on course for a quarter-final meeting with Australia.
Backing Wales to exit at the last eight stage looks well worth a punt.