The Rugby World Cup is now well under way, and in the days of instant analysis, massive overreaction, and hot takes that genuinely fail to analyse anything, here’s another contribution to that mix. From quitting and going home because the All Blacks have already proved they are going to win, to questioning the parentage of certain referees, here’s what we learned after the first round of matches. The All Blacks are going to win New Zealanders are not known for their quiet confidence when it comes to their rugby team, and why should they be? Heading for an unprecedented three-in-a-row, the defending champions and best team in the world for the past 10 years showed little signs of fragility against South Africa. They bossed the breakdown, dominated the aerial battle, and could even lose the services of Sam Crane for 40 minutes without batting an eyelid. Clear favourites at the start of the tournament, surely it's now just a question of who will play them in the final, and collect the runner-up medals on offer. The Springboks are not South Africa did not become an ordinary side overnight, and will still fancy their chances of making the final. They started strongly against the All Blacks, but a lack of discipline cost them dearly, as did two butchered try-scoring opportunities. Now seemingly destined to face Ireland in the quarter-finals, and then potentially Wales in the semi-finals, their path to the final two has been made harder, but not impossible, by that 23-13 defeat. Still, even if they get there, does anyone really believe they can become the first team to lose a game and still win the whole thing? Anyone outside Cape Town or Johannesburg that is? Eddie Jones is destined to fail on ‘home turf’ England beat Tonga by 32 points, and that is the best that could be said for the display from one of the pre-tournament hopefuls. For context, New Zealand beat the same opponents 92-7 in a warm-up match earlier this month. Handling errors, sloppy mistakes, and some laboured rugby has done little to paper over the cracks in this England team. Do they have a Plan B, let alone C or D? Can they change tactics midstream if needed? Is Owen Farrell the genius some would have us believe, or the rather ordinary test player hyped up beyond his own ability? All these questions hung over this England team in the build-up and still remain. New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, all look better propositions, and Eddie Jones’ most impressive display in Japan may yet be in the movie chronicling that famous win over South Africa in Brighton four years ago. Scotland the lame You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so here’s the first impression – Scotland were awful. Does anything else need to be said? Japan must now be favourites to take second place in pool A, and the rest of the Scotland side won’t be that far behind the unfortunate Hamish Watson who injured his knee against Ireland and has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament. Head in the clouds When is a red card not a red card? This week apparently when a referee, in this case New Zealand’s Ben O’Keefe, decides to completely ignore all rules to the contrary and allow a no arms tackle where one player connects with the head of another to go completely unpunished. Never mind that Reece Hodge, the offending Australia player was half the size of his victim, Fiji’s Peceli Yato. Not only was it the very textbook definition of a red card, Yato, who up until that pointed had run Australia ragged, was knocked out of the game. World Rugby has finally come to its senses and Hodge should at least get two weeks for the foul, but the damage has already been done. Australia escaped with a win that for the first 25 minutes looked beyond them. Australia will do fine without Hodge, Fiji won’t get another chance to win a game. Maybe a points deduction for the Wallabies would be a more fitting outcome. Spare us from meaningless encounters It’s not a new argument, but why are there so many meaningless games being played over the course of six weeks – money aside, of course. The first round of matches has produced some exciting rugby, some interesting rugby, and some rugby that barely rates a shrug of indifference. None of it however has produced a surprise, unless Scotland's abject performance counts as such. Of the 20 teams taking part, four, at most, have a realistic chance of winning, unless France remember why they play the game, and then maybe five do. But the rest are fighting for what? Recognition, the opportunity to be beaten badly in front of millions of fans at home and abroad, the right to say, “I was there”. If the sevens game has realised the benefits of a second competition, or the 'thank you for coming' contest, why not World Rugby. Instead of bloated pools, and games where second-tier sides are sacrificed at the altar of television cash, why isn't there a 'World Cup' for teams who will never experience winning the main event – like Scotland or Russia. Split the teams down the middle, and the two finalists in the bottom competition get to play in the main event in four years’ time, swapping places with the bottom two above them.