England v USA Rugby Union World Cup Match Preview

It’s game two of the Rugby World Cup in Japan for England as they prepare to face-off against Team USA on Thursday morning. The match begins at 11.45am GMT and armchair fans can follow the play live on ITV and online.

England got off to a winning start when wiping the floor with Tonga on Sunday, but they know bugger tests will come in the near future, especially if they are to go close to winning this trophy. They made light work of a limited Tongan side but the emphatic scoreline wasn’t enough to impress everyone with some sections of the media saying the performance had more in common with a warm-up match than a World Cup opener.

If the coaching staff didn’t know already, they are well aware now, you can’t please all the people all the time, especially in sports. Will they raise their game against America and continue their 100 per cent start to the World Cup? Bookmakers certainly believe so and they have drawn up a pre-match betting market that tells us England will win with a bit to spare.

Dozens of markets have been added to this match, meaning punters will find something to suit. Included in the list are match-winner, winning margin, over/under points, first try scorer and handicap betting. The latter is perfect for backing England in accumulators or if you fancy a pop at the United States upsetting the odds but would prefer a bit of a safety net under your bet.

England Makes Light Work of Tonga

England rallied to beat Tonga on Sunday afternoon and encountered very little resistance along the way. They racked up a score of 35-3 and that told the story of how the afternoon went. An impressive winning margin and one that was fully deserved. What’s worth noting by England fans and sports bettors is the victors barely got out of first gear that day. There’s plenty more to come from this team and we should see them edge their way into contention as the competition progresses and the games get more difficult.

Some critics weren’t happy but there’s a skill involved in planning your World Cup attack. You want to see your team winning but there’s no need for them to hit top gear at this early stage and then fall flat when the challenges improve. Working your way into the play, getting points on the board and going through the gears when it’s needed is the preferred route. Tuilagi scored two tries that day and his efforts were backed up by George and Cowan-Dickie. Farrell scored three conversions and also chipped in with three penalties. Takulua nailed a penalty to ensure Tonga didn’t lose to nil but that was the only positive that could be taken from the day by the beaten side.

Will we see the England coaching staff stick with the players that started the match on Sunday or will they freshen things up, now that they have had a chance to view their selections in action. Using the squad correctly – picking the right players for the right games – will be key to remaining injury free and fresh during this competition, so we do expect one or two changes in the starting 15 that walks onto the park to face the United States in midweek.

The USA Must Hit the Ground Running

USA has been dropped into World Cup Pool C alongside four other teams in England, France, Argentina and Tonga. It will be interesting to see how they get on and get a feel for where the nation is at in their development but they aren’t expected to get out of the group stages. They should beat Tonga, you’d imagine, and the Argentina game looks very well matched on paper. It’s difficult to make a strong case for them beating England or France and getting the points needed to progress, however. They will have a good go at it, we’re sure.

Thursday will be the United States first match of the World Cup due to the odd number in their group. They didn’t play at the weekend, meaning they will be fresh and ready to go. The team would have watched England’s win over Tonga and although the result threw up no surprises, the English performance would have given the coaching staff something to think about. USA’s best chance at beating England comes from catching them cold. They are fully rested, relaxed, focused and ready to have a go at winning this.

The only worry with that is most of the other teams looked rusty and off the pace in their opening World Cup match as they acclimatised and eased their way into the play. England has the benefit of 80 minutes under their belt and can get to work from the first whistle. The USA must get up to pace very quickly, hitting the ground running. That’s easier said than done, of course, especially against a free-flowing team with the skill England have.

Traders Expect a Comfortable Outing

England is top price 1/66 with William Hill to win the match or 10/11 at bet365 -34 on the handicap. The USA is 35/1 at Betfair to win or 10/11 (bet365)with a 34 points head start on the handicap. That tells the story of how traders expect this match to go with England winning at a canter. The question for punters is – how many points will they cover in the winning margin? An England try to be the first scoring play at 41/50 with Unibet will give backers an early interest.