Moldova and Netherlands rise in rankings
Moldova kept their dream of RWC 2015 qualification alive with a 21-12 victory over Poland in the European Nations Cup Division 1B on Saturday, a result which also lifts them one place to 27th in the latest IRB World Rankings.
The Moldovans knew that victory was a must if they were to retain hopes of overhauling Germany at the top of the standings and earn the right to face the Netherlands in a play-off to determine Russia’s opponents in the final element of the European qualifying process for RWC 2015.
Moldova may though rue the failure to score a fourth try at the Municipal Stadium in Sieldce as Germany’s advantage has now grown to five points, although the leaders only have one game to go unlike their rivals who have two.
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Germany were emphatic winners themselves on Saturday, beating the Czech Republic 76-12 at the Fritz Grunebaum Sportpark in Heidelberg with number 8 Timo Vollenkemper scoring three of his side’s 12 tries.
The win had no impact on Germany’s rating in the IRB World Rankings, though, as they sit 22 places above their opponents, but Moldova’s victory means the two sides are now separated by only 0.07 rating points.
There was one other European Nations Cup match this weekend that did result in positional changes in the rankings with the Netherlands climbing two places to 29th after beating Malta 33-10 in their Division 2A encounter.
Malta slip two places to 45th as a result of the loss on home soil in Kordin.