Quartet on the rise in rankings

(Rugby News Service) Monday 26 September 2011
 
Quartet on the rise in rankings
Martín Rodríguez helped Argentina leapfrog Scotland in the IRB World Rankings

AUCKLAND, 26 Sept. - Argentina not only kept their hopes alive of reaching the Rugby World Cup 2011 quarter-finals with a 13-12 victory over Scotland at the Wellington Regional Stadium on Sunday, but also swapped places with their opponents in the latest IRB World Rankings.

The victory lifts Argentina, who finished third at Rugby World Cup 2007 in France, into eighth and to within a rating point of Wales above them as the pool stages of New Zealand 2011 enter the final seven days.

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Los Pumas are one of nine nations on the move in the latest rankings with Samoa, Tonga and Georgia all rising two places, the latter’s elevation to 14th coming despite them not playing a match in the last seven days.

Georgia’s climb is as a result of defeats for Japan and Fiji, who fall two places to 15th and 16th respectively. Japan’s 31-18 loss to the lower ranked Tonga ended their hopes of securing automatic qualification for RWC 2015, while Fiji have dropped to their lowest ranking after defeat by Samoa.

Samoa’s 27-7 victory in the battle for Pacific Island pride at Eden Park on Sunday sees them climb two to 10th, recouping the places they lost on the back of last weekend’s 17-10 loss to Wales in a tightly-contested Pool D, while Italy and Canada slip one place.

Tonga now occupy 13th after picking up their first win of Rugby World Cup 2011, ending a run of five successive losses to Japan in the process and closing to just over a rating point behind Canada, who face the Brave Blossoms on Tuesday.

The only other match over the last seven days to have an impact on the IRB World Rankings, albeit miniscule, was the much-anticipated Pool A encounter between New Zealand and France at Eden Park on Saturday.

New Zealand would have seen their 22-month reign at the top ended with more RWC heartbreak at the hands of France, but the impressive 37-17 victory on the night of Richie McCaw’s historic 100th Test for the All Blacks has instead increased their rating by seven hundredths.

The convincing victories for South Africa, Australia, England and Ireland all came over significantly lower ranked opponents – Namibia, USA, Romania and Russia respectively – and as a result did not have any effect on their ratings.

RNS kb/gy/sg