RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015
Sunday, 11 October 06:00
At the beginning of the tournament this was the ‘dead rubber’ England feared and it’s now a reality. After throwing the game away against Wales and being played off the park by Australia last weekend, England have become the first ever host nation to fail to progress from the pool stages. There will no doubt be a subdued atmosphere in Manchester as they take on a Uruguayan side that scored their first World Cup try since 2003 this week.
Only seven of the starting line-up that lost to the Wallabies have survived as Stuart Lancaster gives many of the squad players we have yet to see a chance. England have won all five World Cup games against minnows since 2003 and their average winning margin in those matches is very close to the current handicap line as they’ve prevailed by a mean of 58 points. Their only previous meeting against Uruguay was in 2003 when they ran in 111 points.
Compared to 2003, Uruguay have improved at this World Cup. 12 years ago they conceded an average of 81 points per game in the three matches they lost to South Africa, Samoa and England; while at this tournament Wales, Australia and Fiji have averaged ‘only’ 55 points.
The improvements from the minnows against the elite nations have been noticeable across the board. In 2003 the average score line between any Tier 1 nation and a minnow was 62-11, in France 2007 it was 54-10, it was 53-11 four years ago and so far in 2015 the gap has been closed to 46-12 including a ground-breaking win for Japan over the Springboks.
With a team with so many new combinations and given the mood in the camp it’s difficult to predict how England will play. Uruguay have been profitable to back with the points in all three matches so far and we are happy to follow them again.
- In their last five World Cup matches against minnows, England have an average winning margin of 58 points
- The average score line between any Tier 1 nation and a minnow at this tournament is 45-13
- Backing Uruguay with the points has proved profitable in their three matches so far