Re: Official Rugby World CUp (and the lead up tests) Thread
See this is the thing. Nate's got it on the nail.
Last World Cup, England did go in favourites, and we were basically unbeatable in the run up; but WE DID NOT PLAY WELL. If we'd played like we played in the autumn internationals before the World Cup, we'd have wiped the floor with every single team we'd come across, and that includes Australia. And that's not disrespect to the other teams, it's just the plain truth. Come the World Cup, Wilkinson first showed his first signs of weakness (poor kicking performance) and our backs were awful until Catt was re-instated. The forwards were fairly reliable, but we relied on the backs to score most of our points.
I think this is true of most teams. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Australia put in a great performance this time, despite a poor start.