After the fireworks of a spectacular opening ceremony had dissipated on Friday night it fell to England to get the host nation off to a good start against a dogged and determined Fiji outfit.
Tom Wood caught the eye with a typically committed performance, with Courtney Lawes also playing the full 80 minutes and Kieran Brookes having a positive impact off the bench in the second half.
But while England got the first points, and maintained their lead throughout, it was only Billy Vunipola’s last-gasp try that secured the vital maximum haul.
Saturday afternoon saw new signing Victor Matfield make his first appearance in his fourth Rugby World Cup, as part of a very experienced South Africa team in Brighton.
But the Springboks found themselves on the receiving end of one of the all-time sporting upsets, Japan spurning a kick at goal that would have secured a draw to go over for a match-winning try that brought the roof off the Brighton Community Stadium.
The south coast was also the stage for two more Saints, Kahn Fotuali’i and Ken Pisi, to strut their stuff as part of the Samoa team that took on the USA, who themselves included two former players from Franklin’s Gardens in the shape of Samu Manoa and Cam Dolan.
Samoa made hard work of their win, scoring a try in each half, with Pisi making the final pass for captain Ofisa Treviranus’s second half score. Former Saint Fa’atoina Autagavaia also made an appearance, coming off the bench as a replacement.
It is not long now until Rugby World Cup 2015 comes to the East Midlands, and you can see all the latest information, including how to get to stadiummk and the full range of entertainment that is on offer in the Fanzone and Festival of Rugby, at www.lovemkrugby.com