England Still Holds The Most Embarrassing Stat In Rugby World Cup History
The Wallabies might struggle to beat England in their Rugby World Cup quarter final on Saturday evening. Indeed the odds suggest they're up against it.
England has looked pretty solid at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, while the Wallabies have looked good at times, but a little unconvincing overall.
But whatever happens in the match which starts at 6:15 pm tomorrow (coverage on Network 10 from 5:50 pm), there's one reason all Aussie rugby fans can laugh at England.
It's a four-year-old joke which we can recycle because of events this week, and it goes like this:
In 2015, England became the only RWC host in the history of the tournament to miss the quarter finals. Yes, after the Wallabies hammered them 33-13 at Twickenham, England's chances of making the knockout phase were officially dashed.
Now for the really fun part.
England fans would have gone, pfffft, no one will remember this stat. And anyway, the same thing will happen to lowly Japan in 2019 when they host the RWC, or so those fans they would have smugly assumed.
Nope, and nope.
We here in Australia will never forget this delightful little piece of history, and were thrilled when Japan -- who have been the feelgood story of the tournament thus far at RWC 2019 -- wrapped up their first ever quarter final berth by resoundingly beating Scotland.
So England, you're still alone in your misery.
As for Saturday's match, can Australia beat England? And if so, how?
"Australia has got to revisit their performance against the All Blacks in Perth, where they dominated possession and territory and played with incredible intensity," iconic Network 10 rugby commentator Gordon Bray told 10 daily.
"The All Blacks didn’t know what hit them that day, and that's the level the Wallabies have got to be at, or even another rung up the ladder.
"The Wallabies do have a great record in World Cups, so if they can start well, there might be no stopping them."
Bray said he fears England coach Eddie Jones, and believes his intrinsic knowledge of local conditions could be a big advantage.
Jones was of course the coach of the Japanese team which shocked the world at the 2015 World Cup when they beat South Africa in Brighton. That result was such a huge upset, they actually made a movie about it. It's released later this month, and you can watch the trailer at the top of this story.
Incredibly, there will now be a re-match. Yes, Japan and south Africa meet in the quarter finals of RWC 2019 on Sunday evening.
"I would say Japan’s performance against Scotland was probably the outstanding display of the whole tournament," Bray enthused of the match which secured Japan's quarter final spot.
"They hardly dropped the ball in the first half, and played the game at breakneck pace. Their precision and skill is phenomenal."
"If they play like they did against Scotland, anything is possible."
The Wallabies play England in the Rugby World Cup on Saturday, October 19. Tune in from 5:50pm on Network 10, 10 Play and WIN Network.