Charlotte Henbest: World of Sport


There could have been another shock over the opening weekend of the 2015 Rugby World Cup other then Japan’s defeat of South Africa.

On their first-half performance against New Zealand, Argentina were looking good until one man changed it – arguably the best rugby player of either code playing at the moment – Sonny Bill Williams.

He came on in the 49th minute and changed the whole course of the game with his running and distribution and the poor Argentinians had no answer. Sonny is some sporting class act as he has also boxed professionally at heavyweight and won all of his six fights.

On Friday night, I watched England against Fiji and ‘our RL man’ Sam Burgess in his 20-minute cameo looked lost in what was a laboured performance. They will need to speed things up on Saturday against Wales, especially in the handling depart.

England boss Stuart Lancaster is a big RL fan but if his team are to do anything he needs to speed up the passing across the line.

Later I watched a recording of St Helens versus Wigan and there was no comparison, rugby league at that level is far faster and more entertaining.

In saying that, the 15-a-side game has improved in recent years from the old RL fans’ appraisal of ‘kick and clap’ and they do run with the ball more.

My seven-year-old son has only really watched RL, but on Saturday he is going with his dad to Elland Road to watch Canada take on Italy.

I am not biased, but I am annoyed that all we hear on radio and TV is the ‘Rugby World Cup’ when it should be the ‘Rugby Union World Cup’ – what chance does the 13-a-side game have of ever making the headlines and being 0n mainstream TV as this competition is currently enjoying.

It was interesting to see Ryan Giggs (Wigan fan but guest of St Helens) and Joey Barton at the SL game and we all know Wayne Rooney is a big fan of Wigan and would no doubt be watching on his TV at home.