Time for a World Cup reality check

England's Chris Ashton celebrates as he scores their fifth try of the game against Georgia
England's Chris Ashton celebrates as he scores their fifth try of the game against Georgia
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Rugby players go for a boozy night out six days before their next match.

Shocking. Whatever next?

Despite the moral outrage elsewhere, it is hard to get too worked up about that sozzled evening some England players enjoyed in a New Zealand bar after their opening win against Argentina.

Mind you, recently-married Mike Tindall might well need a reassuring phone call home to Zara Phillips after those racy pictures with that girl.

But generally speaking, even highly-professional sportsmen and women need to let their hair down occasionally.

Wasn’t Fabio Capello’s dull, monastic no-fun training camp half the trouble with the England football team at the World Cup in South Africa?

Ask any athlete. Rest and relaxation are an important part of the preparation.

The Rugby World Cup is starting to boil up very nicely.

The supposed Southern Hemisphere domination is so far proving to be something of a myth.

Ireland’s unexpected, but deserved, win over Australia followed on from Wales’ very near-miss against South Africa.

The All Blacks remain favourites, but are yet to face a significant test of their credentials.

Worth remembering that this is still the phoney war of the group stage.

These are just the formative stages of a very long tournament, where the ability to gel and peak at the right time will be crucial.

The Aussie shocker has opened things up for England, who ran in six tries on Sunday – albeit against a Georgian side who tired late on in their second game in five days.

Hard to jump to conclusions yet. Hold all bets.