Where have all the rugby fans gone?
Well, this one has just woken up!
World Cups in any sport make for an interesting time - for example, the last Rugby League World Cup. I don't for a moment believe that New Zealand has the best Rugby League team in the world, but they snaffled the last Rugby League World Cup none-the-less.
As John Eeles (captain of the victorious Australian team in the 1999 Rugby World Cup) said, it is not about the best team in the world - rather, about the better team at the tournament.
Performance in the Pool Games and beforehand would seem to have little relevance where it counts, i.e. from the quarter finals and onwards. England in 2003 secured The Cup ("The Bill") by winning the games that counted. They also did rather well in the 2007 World Cup, by making the final - despite a disastrous 36 to nil loss the South Africa in the pools.
This Rugby World Cup is many things, but one thing it isn't is boring!