If anyone felt a glitch in the Matrix on Saturday evening, that was due to Japan causing the biggest shock in Rugby World Cup history by defeating two-time champions South Africa in Pool B.
The Tier 2 side were given a zero chance of springing such a surprise result on the seasoned Springboks, but defy the odds they did in a magnificent showing in Brighton.
Whatever else happens in this World Cup, this result will be one of the defining moments, so as the tournament heads into day three, fans of Wales and New Zealand must be looking at their opening fixtures with a renewed tinge of anxiety.
However, as seismic as that shock was, the News.Ladbrokes team is expecting a return to normal business on day three.
Wales v Uruguay
Uruguay are 5000/1 shots to win the World Cup and that is no surprise when almost the entire squad is made up of players who don’t play the game professionally.
Wales may have taken some hits in the build up with injuries to two big stars, but even without Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb, the backs should have a field day against the tournament’s rank outsiders.
New Zealand v Argentina
The World Cup favourites could have been handed a far easier start to their defence than Los Pumas, who have the recent scalp of South Africa in Durban on their growing Test resume.
However, in Pool C the Argentines will be more than happy to progress behind the world champions All-Blacks, whose pack won’t be bullied and whose talents team-wide will shine through at Wembley.
Samoa v United States
This match is a replay of the two nations’ Pacific Nations Cup encounter from this summer, where Samoa ran out 21-16 winners en route to the final.
The 1/9 favourites should prevail again, but this is unlikely to be a rout of an American side who will draw great confidence from the country’s recent World Series Sevens crown.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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