Thankfully for England, our opening match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup went to plan as we eased past Tonga.

It was an encouraging display by Eddie Jones’ men against a spirited Tonga side on Sunday.

A certain amount of expectation-management was always going to be required in our first game. Tonga are a far better side than many give them credit for.

Most of their players now play in the top leagues across Europe and, as a result, they are much more tactically aware of the way the modern game has developed. You could see this in the way Newcastle Falcons man Sonatane Takulua controlled the tempo and held the structure together for Tonga.

The final score of 35-3 was a fair reflection of England’s dominance.

England definitely have a lot to work on, though. Their discipline was poor, and they made too many handling errors, which stopped any sort of continuity in the second half.

As coach Jones has said, however, in tournament rugby, you don’t need to be at your best in game one.

Today’s encounter against the USA will give Jones a chance to assess the form of some relatively unknown quantities on the international stage, such as Ruaridh McConnochie, Willi Heinz and Joe Cokanasiga.

It also allows key players in the form of Maro Itoje, Kyle Sinckler, Manu Tuilagi and Owen Farrell the opportunity to get a rest, ahead of two tough games against France and Argentina.

The USA are well-coached, Gary Gold is an experienced coach and very well-respected in the game, but I would expect England to win the contest at the Kobe Misaki Stadium with plenty to spare.

Unquestionably, the match of the opening weekend saw South Africa take on New Zealand.

Despite New Zealand prevailing, it wasn’t as straightforward as the 23-13 scoreline suggests.

In the first 20 minutes, South Africa had a huge amount of possession and territory, and they had the All Blacks on the ropes. Unfortunately for South Africa, it was two simple mistakes which cost them, as the momentum shift proved to be insurmountable.

New Zealand showed exactly why they were pre-tournament favourites in how accurate and ruthless they were when the opportunities arose.

But I’m sure the Springboks will take spirit from the opening exchanges, and if the teams meet again later in the tournament, they will still fancy their chances.

It has been interesting to see how teams have adapted to the conditions. Due to the humidity, teams have favoured kicking for territory, which may change as the tournament progresses, and teams become more accustomed to the climate in Japan.

If it doesn’t change, though, this style of play will suit England. Farrell is one of the best kickers in the world and England have effectively three full-backs on the pitch in Elliot Daly, Antony Watson and Jonny May who are all very accomplished under the high ball.

The standard of refereeing has been pretty poor in the opening week of the tournament. They seem to have gone away from policing the offside line.

Louis Picamoles was a good metre offside before making a crucial interception, which won France the match as they edged past Argentina to claim a 23-21 success, a result which may well end up sending Argentina home. Also, somehow, Reece Hodge’s challenge on Fiji’s Peceli Yato went unpunished at the time - although Hodge has since been handed a three-match retrospective ban.

It’s as clear a red card as you will see and, even if the referee misses it on the field, the TMO should be helping them out on those occasions.

Wayne Barnes had an outstanding game when he took charge of Ireland’s 27-3 win over Scotland on Sunday. I have been refereed by Wayne a few times and, in my experience, one thing he does better than most referees is he explains his decisions and allows a conversation throughout.

He has great empathy with the game and that comes across so well when watching.

Looking ahead, the game of the tournament this weekend will see Wales face Australia on Sunday morning, a day after Ireland take on hosts Japan.

Wales showed their attacking prowess against Georgia, and went some way to answering critics about their lack of invention as they claimed a 43-14 victory. I have no doubt Australia will provide a much sterner defensive test, though.

It will be interesting to see if the Welsh pack can get the front foot ball to allow players like Liam Williams, Jon Davies and George North to come to the fore. A Welsh win would put them in pole position to top Pool D, going into the knockout stages.

Elsewhere, hosts Japan recovered from a shaky start to win comfortably against the supposed pre-tournament whipping boys Russia, earning a 30-10 win.

Opening matches in World Cups rarely live up to the hype and, often, the home team struggle under the weight of expectation. At the 2015 World Cup, England’s 35-11 success over Fiji at Twickenham in their opener was hardly a classic.