Ireland slide in rankings after Scotland loss
They may not have fielded their best line-up but Ireland's 10-6 defeat to Scotland in their first Rugby World Cup 2011 warm-up match at Murrayfield on Saturday has proved costly with a two-place fall to sixth in the latest IRB World Rankings.
The defeat means Declan Kidney's men are no longer the leading northern hemisphere nation in the rankings behind New Zealand, Australia and South Africa - a position they have held since ending England's hopes of a Six Nations Grand Slam back in March.
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England now occupy fourth spot following their 23-19 victory over Wales at Twickenham on Saturday, while France also climb one to fifth despite not being in action over the weekend, Marc Lièvremont's men only resuming their preparations with the visit of Ireland to Bordeaux this Saturday night.
Wales remain seventh despite the loss to England, while the margin of victory was not big enough for Scotland to improve their position of ninth, although they have slashed the deficit to Argentina above them to only four tenths.
At the top of the IRB World Rankings, New Zealand have slightly increased their cushion over Australia after preserving a 25-year winning streak over the Wallabies at Eden Park with a 30-14 victory in their Tri Nations encounter on Saturday.
The gain was only marginal though at seven hundredths with the All Blacks' cushion over their trans Tasman rivals now having grown to 6.68 points as the Wallabies head to Durban to face South Africa in match four of the 2011 Tri Nations.
Three other sides counting down the days until Rugby World Cup 2011 kicks off on 9 September were also in action over the weekend with Canada edging their neighbours USA 28-22 in Toronto and Argentina beating a South American XV 78-15 in San Juan.
Canada's victory on home soil was not by a big enough margin to improve their ranking of 16th, although they have closed to within 0.12 rating points of Georgia above them. The USA Eagles remain 17th, albeit now 3.8 points behind Canada ahead of the return match in Denver this Saturday.
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