Wales have beaten Samoa and England have beaten Georgia in today's action at the Rugby World Cup 2011 in games that turned out to be interesting for different reasons.
Wales 17, Samoa 10
Wales emerged winners over Samoa in a brutal, must-win game in order to keep their World Cup dreams alive.
Both teams were enterprising, looking to use the ball, playing a positive style of rugby. The forward packs were physical, lacking no passion whatsoever, while the backs looked lively as they looked to break tackles.
The defences were resolute, both having to withstand enormous pressure at different stages in the game and proved very difficult to break. Only once did each team cross their opponent's line. For the Samoans, it came after a long buildup of pick and go's that eventually saw them crash over in the dying stages of the first half. Wales crossed after a missed tackle allowed them to make a break and after seemingly blowing their opportunity, Shane Williams was able to tidy up and score what proved to be the decisive try.
Sam Warburton delivered another outstanding performance and has shown that he will be a very good player for many years to come. His work at the breakdown has been brilliant and his uncanny ability to affect turnovers sees that he will be grouped with David Pocock, Heinrich Brussouw and Matt Todd as one of the outstanding up-and-coming openside flankers in world rugby.
As far as this tournament goes, the future of these two teams is still largely undecided. The win was of vital importance to Wales and should they beat Fiji and Namibia as would now be expected, they will give themselves a good chance of progressing. However, this depends on how Samoa goes against South Africa, as should Samoa win, bonus points and points differential come into play to decide which two teams move on to the quarterfinals.
England 41, Georgia 10
England have beaten Georgia in what turned out to be a far from convincing win despite the seemingly one-sided scoreline.
Georgia dominated territory and possession for large parts of the game and had England under real pressure. Not to mention the fact that England conceded 14 penalties and were lucky to have only lost one man to the sin bin.
It was more Georgia's lack of ability to score points that saved them than anything else. Georgia missed five penalty goals, which could have had them right in the game going into the final 20 minutes.
England began to gain dominance in the last 20 minutes and ran in some late tries, but it didn't make up for their horrible first 60 minutes.
A better team would have put them away, but at the end of the day, a win is a win and England need to put this behind them and look ahead to putting in a better performance next game.
France also play Canada today. As of this article's publishing this game was still in progress.