Rugby World Cup: Ian Chandler still has faith in the Springboks

Japan's Karne Hesketh, right, celebrates with his team-mates after scoring the winning try against South Africa
Japan's Karne Hesketh, right, celebrates with his team-mates after scoring the winning try against South Africa
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Hampshire coach Ian Chandler runs the rule over the opening week of the World Cup.

So much for my predictions!

Although, I don’t think anyone saw Japan beating South Africa – who I tipped for tournament glory.

In fact, I can’t think of a bigger upset in rugby ever.

The bookies were offering Japan up with a 50-point head start – and it is not often they get it wrong.

Great credit to Japan, though, for their speed and the way they played against the Springboks.

If you could couple that with consistency then you would have a really good side.

I think Scotland, who beat Japan on Wednesday, were glad to be playing them second up so they saw them coming as the surprise factor had then gone.

But I have not given up on South Africa just yet.

Their incredible 34-32 defeat may yet play in their favour.

If they progress as group 
runners-up, rather than winners, then they may not have to go down the Australia, New Zealand route to get to the final.

That result has thrown the whole formbook out of the window, though.

Who would make predictions? What with Georgia beating Tonga as well.

What you must say, though, is the World Cup has been a great spectacle so far.

England, however, were not easy on the eye in their opening win against Fiji.

I think they suffered from first-game nerves, owing to the massive weight of expectation put on them.

A lot of people in that England side were afraid to make a mistake rather than free to go forward and try to produce something.

Unfortunately, George Ford has copped the backlash of that, with Owen Farrell set to replace him for tomorrow’s clash with Wales.

Ford is a playmaker but he needs people to run in the lines and make themselves available for him to put them into holes.

They didn’t do that, unfortunately.

I hope England take the shackles off from here on in because if they continue playing in that safety-first mode they won’t win the World Cup.

Put simply, you have to try things for other things to come off otherwise you will just run into determined defences, pick up injuries and go nowhere fast.

When England beat Wales last year in the Six Nations it was because they attacked them and took them by surprise.

Talking of surprises, Argentina are a good outside chance as a place bet.

Tournament favourites New Zealand rallied from behind to put them in their place in a 26-16 win.

At 66/1, Argentina’s lack of attacking quality will most likely let them down but their forwards are a match for anyone on their day.