Kenya climb four places in rankings
Adwin Achayo’s last minute try not only snatched a 27-25 victory for Kenya over Brazil in the Emirates Airline Cup of Nations on Saturday but has also resulted in a four place rise to 35th in the latest IRB World Rankings.
The lead had already changed hands four times in a dramatic and entertaining second half when replacement Achayo touched down at the death at 7he Sevens in Dubai, denying the higher ranked Brazil victory in the inaugural tournament’s opening match.
Kenya’s climb back towards their highest ever ranking of 32nd sees them move above Sweden, Germany , the Czech Republic and Tunisia and leaves them just two places now behind Brazil after the South Americans fell three with the defeat.
Brazil’s loss, after being outscored five tries to four by the Kenyans, means that Kazakhstan, Korea and Ukraine all rise one place as a result, leaving the South Americans now just over a rating point ahead of Kenya.
The other match in the Emirates Airline Cup of Nations on Saturday was an all Asian affair and saw Hong Kong run out convincing 72-14 winners over the United Arab Emirates, scoring 11 tries by 10 different players in the process.
Tom McQueen was the only player to touch down twice with Ed Haynes and Cado Lee marking their Test debuts with tries as Hong Kong proved too strong for the hosts, just as they had done in the HSBC Asian 5 Nations earlier in the year.
"What we experienced out on the field today is what international fifteens rugby is all about," admitted UAE coach Wayne Marsters. "These teams have outstanding resources and structures in place and are ones we can learn from."
The victory, though, has no impact on the IRB World Rankings as the United Arab Emirates are not yet a Member Union of the International Rugby Board. Only full Member Unions are ranked and only Test matches between full Member Unions count towards the rankings.
The Emirates Airline Cup of Nations continues on Tuesday when the day one winners, Hong Kong and Kenya, come face to face at 18:00 local time, followed by Brazil against UAE at 20:00.