PRIDE AND PREJUDICE?
Former Ireland back Gordon D'Arcy is proving significantly more incisive in print than he ever was on the field. Best known for not being anywhere near as good as Brian O'Driscoll, D'Arcy's savaging of English league convert Sam Burgess in the Irish Times went around the planet in a nanosecond.
According to Mr D'Arcy, Burgess' "naivety embarrassed those around him and severely damaged England's chances of reaching the quarter-finals".
D'Arcy, of course, knows plenty about RWC quarter-finals - it being the stage where Ireland tended to exit the tournament during the 16-odd years of mediocrity that coincided with his international career.
Given they were leading by seven points when he was subbed and then conceded 10 unanswered points without him, Burgess appears a curious fall guy for England's traditionally useless back play in the defeat by Wales. Good old-fashioned anti-league prejudice, perhaps?
EXETER STAGE LEFT
With Tonga's main news website Matangi Tonga strangely not carrying a report of the stirring victory over Namibia in Exeter, it was down to Planet Tonga to put a local spin on the contest.
"In only the second meeting between these sides, Tonga winning previously 20-14 in 1997, they headed to the southernmost venue of the tournament and in front of a capacity crowd of 12,500 locals still missing their Mumm, Tonga again won, their pigs earning the bacon in Devon," reported the website in what would have to be one of the strangest intros to a match report in RWC history.
Missing Mumm appears to be a reference to Wallaby Dean Mumm's decision to leave Exeter Chiefs for the Waratahs next season, while a Devon is rare breed of pig. Certainly a lot going on there.
MASTER AND FORMER COMMANDER
Today's edition of Cliché Watch is brought to you by MasterCard, the credit card company that has signed up the likes of former Cup-winning England skipper Martin Johnston as its tournament ambassador (nice work if you can get it) to ensure a steady supply of globally syndicated waffle.
"Ultimately it comes down to scoring more points than Australia on Saturday," said Johnson of the challenge facing England in a must-win match.
"It is still a game, it's 15 a side on a rectangular piece of grass and multi-millions are watching. But you have to turn off from that and just think 'what do I have to do in any given situation' and play on instinct, do not over think it just go and play what is in front of you."
DANCING TO THE BEAT
Zimbabwe's sports and recreation minister has offered some helpful advice to the country's rugby union as it attempts to meet a governmental demand that the country qualify for the next World Cup.
"You have to avoid problematic headlines in papers, you need stability in the board, have a transparent election process and not fight for posts, avoid factionalism and stay out of politics," Makhosini Hlongwani told rugby officials - according to a story in Zimbabwe's Herald headlined: 'Hlongwani demands rugby world dance'.
Given Zimbabwe's main paper is owned by the Mugabe government and is described by some as "an instrument of rather crude and aggressive propaganda", avoiding those problematic headlines should be possible. Transparent elections are also obviously a Zimbabwean staple.
Welsh euphoria over the epic victory over England appears to be giving way to dose a grim reality. Wales Online somewhat glumly notes that several British bookmakers are unconvinced the result will lead to Wales escaping the group of death. Australia and Wales currently top the group, with nine points each compared to England's six. They can take their tally to 14 by beating the Fijians with a bonus point. But "the doomsday scenario for Wales would be England beating Australia and then [Wales] losing to the Wallabies by four tries in their own final match".
"That would put Wales and Australia on 14 points apiece, one behind England's potential tally of 15, but we would then go out on the head to head rule.
"[Bookmaker] William Hill clearly believe that is a likely outcome, as do Paddy Power who still rank England as second favourites behind New Zealand to lift the World Cup."