Australia retain second place in rankings
Australia have retained second place in the latest IRB World Rankings after bouncing back from back-to-back losses against the All Blacks to beat South Africa 26-19 in Perth on Saturday and climb off the bottom of The Rugby Championship table.
Whoever emerged victorious at Patersons Stadium would occupy second place and Australia ensured that would be them by edging a tight battle, although it came at a cost with captain Will Genia rupturing knee ligaments to rule him out for the rest of the year.
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Australia’s win has not only increased their advantage over South Africa to 2.42 rating points but also reduced their deficit to number one side New Zealand, who earlier that day had overcome Argentina 21-5 in Wellington.
New Zealand’s victory had no impact on the rating of either side, a consequence of the world champions being at home and ranked seven places and 13.09 rating points above the Pumas in the IRB World Rankings.
There were three other matches over the weekend, although only one resulted in a positional change in the rankings, Peru falling one place to 64th - swapping places with Malaysia - on the back of a 28-17 loss to hosts Venezuela on day one of the South American B Championship.
This tournament is part of the Americas qualifying process for Rugby World Cup 2015 and the opening day also saw favourites Paraguay overcome Colombia 54-17 in Valencia. Paraguay and Venezuela have both improved their ratings slightly, but remain 40th and 53rd respectively.
Denmark were the other winners over the weekend, beating Norway 22-15 in a Viking Tri Nations encounter played on neutral soil at Rosslyn Park FC in England. The win increases Denmark’s rating slightly in 61st, while 93rd ranked Norway slip closer to Vanuatu below them.