Five talking points from opening match
Bonus points count!
For the past two months, we have heard that no stone has been left unturned in the grand driveway of Pennyhill Park to England’s training base. All bases have been covered, except for a few basic rules that had apparently not been explained to the players, with Billy Vunipola displaying a remarkable degree of ignorance about his try that clinched the bonus point against Fiji. “To be truthfully honest with you, I didn’t know that bonus points counted in the World Cup,” Vunipola said. “I was just more excited that I’d scored a try.” A kind interpretation is that England are so focused on winning every game that bonus points become irrelevant. However, in a pool containing Australia and Wales which may well be decided by the narrowest of margins, it is highly alarming that any England player on the field was unaware of the importance of scoring four tries against Fiji.