You win some, you lose some and right now England fans are getting used to the sweet and sour taste of both.

Barely 24 hours after our captain Harry Kane scored a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over Bulgaria, along come those Aussies to spoil the weekend by hanging on to the Ashes by winning the fourth Test at Old Trafford. No amount of heroics could have saved England this time.

With the route to the finals of the European Championships running smoothly (ahead of tonight’s game with Kosovo) and the best our cricketers can hope for is a drawn series by winning the final Test at the Oval, all eyes will now turn to Japan and the ninth edition of the Webb Ellis Trophy, otherwise known as the Rugby World Cup.

The 20-team tournament, which stretches over six weeks and 48 matches, opens a week on Friday with the hosts Japan clocking up a big win over Russia – and you can be certain there will be some scores that will challenge even Steve Smith’s batting average – and ends on November 2 in Yokohama with one captain, probably Kieran Read of New Zealand, lifting the trophy.

England’s passage to the quarter-finals will be a comfortable ride. They start with a game against Tonga, who finished their warm-up programme with a 92-7 defeat at the hands of the All Blacks.

The rest of the group - USA, Argentina and France – are there to make up the numbers but eventually there will be no escaping the Australians as the tournament reaches the knock-out stage.

Maybe it is just as well that we have one of them on our side. It worked in the Cricket World Cup under the coaching of Trevor Bayliss. Can Eddie Jones do the same?

Only five countries have ever reached the World Cup Final – France have twice been runners-up while three-time winners and current holders New Zealand, South Africa (2), Australia (2) and England have lifted the trophy.

Jason Robinson, a winner in 2003, suggests that this is the most open World Cup of them all and any one of six teams can win the title.

It is far more likely to be a battle among the ‘Big Four’ and whoever beats the All Blacks will be the eventual winners.

What is certain is that for six weeks Japan will suddenly become the Land of the Giants.

*If Steve Smith had been born in Sydenham instead of Sydney, Joe Root would probably be hugging the little Ashes urn this morning instead of facing questions such as: Are you the right man for the job?

There can be little argument that the Smith-inspired Aussies have been the better team all-round and had it not been for that Ben Stokes Headingley ‘miracle,’ we would be looking at a 3-0 deficit in the Test series.

Asked about his future as England captain, Root whose own form has been anything but great, insisted that he is still the man for the job.

“I have been given a fantastic opportunity to captain the Test side and I will work very hard at doing my best at that.”

Heavy defeats always lead to somebody searching for a scapegoat – just ask any of the last ten Watford managers! – and former skipper Nasser Hussain was among those questioning Root’s captaincy, suggesting that he must know the buck stops with him.

But it was Nasser’s fellow Sky commentator David Lloyd who got it spot on.

“Australia have been the better team,” wrote Bumble. “They have got the number one ranked batsman in the world in Steve Smith and the number one ranked bowler in Pat Cummins. That has been the difference.”

So Joe Root can rest easy at least until Thursday at the Oval.

*No red cards, no yellow cards and no crowd segregation among the 31.000 spectators at a Manchester derby.

What is the football world coming to when players and spectators are not snapping at each other’s throats and diving at the lightest touch or even squaring up to the referee?

It is coming to something when a newspaper report on a City-United derby complains about the lack of ‘bite and bitterness’ on the opening day of the Women’s Super League.

Perhaps it was all supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek account of City’s 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium but I think I would be far more worried about the lack of goals on day one. There were just seven in six games and one of them was an own goal.

Women’s football has a long way to go pull in the crowds like those at City and Chelsea (24,564) on a regular basis. Goalless draws and one-goal victories won’t help.

Just out of interest the other games were Bristol City (3,041), Arsenal (1,795), Birmingham (873) and Liverpool (1,445).