Over the course of this weekend five rugby teams will end up broken-hearted, four in the World Cup quarter-finals in New Zealand and one tonight after Super League's Grand Final at Old Trafford. One of Ireland or Wales will be out before breakfast.
England will need all their battling qualities against the French this morning. England slogged a win against Scotland – the late try cost a £90 payout on a "no-try" bet – but more will be needed against a French team sure to trust their attacking heritage. The impromptu pairing of Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood will help kicking options but wingers Chris Ashton and Mark Cueto, and full-back Ben Foden, need the ball in their hands.
I backed England for the tournament, so £15 at 3-5 with Stan James will do for today. The All Blacks, at 1-33 to beat Argentina (at 32 RED), are no bet, but £20 goes on South Africa, at 6-5 (Paddy Power), to knock out Australia.
St Helens go into their fifth successive Grand Final having lost the previous four and will be jittery against a Leeds who finished 13 points behind League winners Warrington, but who found late form. Saints, who beat Wigan twice in the play-offs, can get their mitts on the trophy – £20 win at 8-13, William Hill.Reuse content