Crack­ing start Cup gearing up to be a great event

Gloucestershire Echo - - DEACS' WEEK -

THE much-an­tic­i­pated Rugby World Cup is un­der­way af­ter an open­ing cer­e­mony which was colour­ful, en­ter­tain­ing and, as you would ex­pect from Ja­pan, pol­ished.

The open­ing game saw the home na­tion beat a spir­ited Rus­sian side and up next was were the All Blacks v South Africa.

Aap­par­ently the Blacks were meant to not be play­ing to the stan­dard that will win a World Cup but they are still favourites and world cham­pi­ons go­ing for a hat trick of vic­to­ries.

The Boks did start brightly, but with two well taken All Black tries, ad­mit­tedly against the run of play, the re­sult was never re­ally in doubt.

The ABS will still be the team to beat.

France v Ar­gentina was a great game, with France play­ing so well in the first half you thought that they may have turned the cor­ner, and with a very skil­ful dis­ci­plined dis­play.

As only France can do they came out in the sec­ond half and played a po­lar op­po­site game

The French should have won at a can­ter - but they just about hung on to a morale-boost­ing vic­tory.

The mes­sage was there for Eng­land to wit­ness, as these two proud rugby na­tions will be no push over.

Eng­land’s open­ing game against Tonga was a no-win sit­u­a­tion.

The ex­pec­ta­tion with Eng­land is al­ways mas­sive.

We re­mem­ber how the 2015 squad suf­fered when bomb­ing out with­out reach­ing the knock­out stages and were the first host coun­try to ever achieve this un­wanted ac­co­lade. Ed­die Jones and his cur­rent squad have talked long and hard how not to al­low this hap­pen again, learn­ing from the harsh­est of lessons.

The Ton­gans lost to the All Blacks in a warm game con­ced­ing 92 points, so all Eng­land sup­port­ers were ex­pect­ing a hat­ful of points.

The re­al­ity was that Eng­land did score 35 points but no tries were con­ceded. The game was lit­tered with Eng­land han­dling er­rors, with far too many penal­ties given away in the early stages.

I AM go­ing to ded­i­cate my first col­umn of the 2019/20 sea­son to Richard Emery.

His sud­den death was a tragedy at such a young age.

Rich was a Gor­don League RFC stal­wart and an ex­am­ple to us all al­ways hum­ble in vic­tory and dig­ni­fied in de­feat.

When the League had chal­leng­ing times Rich never shirked the re­spon­si­bil­ity to help.

He is a great ex­am­ple to us all who play/coach/ad­min­is­trate in lo­cal rugby, throw­ing in the towel was never an op­tion how­ever hard the bar­ri­ers. My sym­pa­thies to his fam­ily and friends - RIP and en­joy a pint with Oli.

At times the game was bruis­ing with some big col­li­sions as the Ton­gans have some big boys with the tight head, nick­named The Wardrobe, weigh­ing in at 24 stone.

Eng­land con­tin­ued the tac­tic of kick­ing the ball early, with a big chase chal­leng­ing in the air or on the floor al­ways gain­ing field po­si­tion.

Of course, post-game match anal­y­sis from all within the Eng­land camp re­marked it was a start and they have work on’s, which they do.

The re­al­ity of any World Cup is win­ning seven games in a row and you will be crowned the best rugby side on the planet. Eng­land has six more to go.

With each game the pres­sure, ex­pec­ta­tion and ex­cite­ment will gather pace; the play­ers will have to live with this on


and off the field. If they do their chances of suc­cess will cer­tainly in­crease.

It is al­ready build­ing up to be one of the best World Cups for our sport and that can only be good for rugby world­wide.

Let’s hope it helps drive en­gage­ment and pas­sion down at the grass­roots.

Luke Cowandicki­e runs in to score Eng­land’s bonus-point try against Tonga

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