The most caustic reaction to England's victory over Ireland on Saturday has, not unexpectedly, come from New Zealand.
Judging by his 'Nine things you need to know from England's Six Nations win over Ireland', the New Zealand Herald's Phil Gifford did well to remain awake for the 80 minutes.
"If the All Blacks don't win the World Cup this year, please, please, don't let England or Ireland take it by boring other teams to death. For the sake of the game, may a side that uses all 15 players on attack emerge victorious.
"The Six Nations test in Dublin, where England upset Ireland, 32-20, had about 12 minutes of rugby worth watching. The first couple, for a beautifully executed try for English wing, Jonny May. Then the last, fruit loopy 10 minutes, when Ireland started trying to play like a Fijian sevens side, with predictably disastrous results. The rest of the game was the same old kick and grunt that over the years has too often made the Six Nations about as much fun to watch as an appointment with a censorious dentist unimpressed with your dental hygiene."
Though, according to Chris Rattue, writing for the same publication, there was admiration for England's performance.
Message to England rugby — your victory over Ireland has been met with stunned admiration in this part of the world. It will also bring a lot of fear and skepticism about the state of the All Blacks to the surface, before a ball has been kicked in Super Rugby. Bring it on. This is magic.
England's victory is a glorious way to kick off a World Cup year, giving it instant focus and a feeling that the tournament in Japan will be a torrid battle between a moderately sized group of contenders.
Speaking on Radio Sport, former All Black, Murray Mexted, said that Ireland lacked creativity.
"This is the heir apparent - the Irish - because if you listen to all the British media last week, you'd think they were the best team in the world, which clearly they are not, but they are close.
"The Irish supporters will hate me when they hear this: it looked to me like the English were more capable of creating and scoring tries. Remember, they were playing in Dublin.
"At the end of the day, I looked at the Irish team and thought: this is a bloody good Irish team because they've got big heart, they're tidy and they're bloody hard to beat but they are not world beaters."
Though he did say that along with the All Blacks and England, Ireland are World Cup contenders.
"For the very first time, I'm taking them [England] seriously now. At the moment, it's very clear to me that the All Blacks, Ireland and now England - after last night - are real contenders for that Rugby World Cup title.
"When we played England, and admittedly we only won by one point or something, they were so loose. They were a lot less efficient than we were in all areas of the game, especially scoring tries. For the first time, I've seen an English team that's much tighter, much better organised and, dare I say it, looking complete."
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