Six Nations

Ireland fall to record low

2013-03-18 16:19
Brian O'Driscoll (File)
Cape Town - Ireland were the big losers on the final weekend of the Six Nations with a first loss to Italy since 1997 condemning Declan Kidney’s side to a two place fall to their lowest ever position in the IRB world rankings.

According to the IRB website, four defeats in a row meant Ireland narrowly avoided the wooden spoon, but there was no such luck in the rankings with the 22-15 defeat in Rome on Saturday dropping them below Samoa and Argentina to ninth.

Ireland’s previous lowest position was eighth on a handful of occasions, but it could have been worse than ninth had Scotland not slipped to a 23-16 loss to France at the Stade de France in the final Six Nations match of 2013.

The other five nations all ended the Championship’s final weekend in the place they began it, although in the cases of Wales and Italy significantly closer to the sides above them in England and Tonga.

Wales destroyed England’s hopes of a first Grand Slam since 2003 with a dominant 30-3 victory at the Millennium Stadium to retain the title and slash the deficit between the two to just 0.36 rating points.

The heavy loss for England not only puts their mantle as the leading northern hemisphere nation under threat but also means their deficit to Australia in third has now grown to more than three rating points.

Italy’s margin of victory over Ireland was not big enough to improve their position of 12th, although they have closed to within four hundredths of Tonga above them, as well as only eight tenths behind Scotland in 10th.

Top 20 in the latest IRB rankings:

1. New Zealand 90.08
2. South Africa 86.94
3. Australia 86.87
4. England 83.72
5. Wales 83.36
6. France 81.59
7. Samoa 78.71
8. Argentina 78.71
9. Ireland 78.05
10. Scotland 76.86
11. Tonga 76.10
12. Italy 76.06
13. Fiji 71.52
14. Canada 71.41
15. Japan 70.09
16. USA 68.32
17. Georgia 67.66
18. Romania 65.82
19. Russia 62.34
20. Spain 60.44

Read more on:    ireland  |  six nations  |  rugby

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