Bok gap to All Blacks grows

2014-11-10 14:25
Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Australia have returned to third in the latest IRB world rankings after recording a 10th successive victory over their Rugby World Cup 2015 opponents Wales 33-28 in the first round of November internationals on Saturday.

According to the IRB website, the victory, in tandem with England’s 24-21 loss to world champions New Zealand at Twickenham, has once again created an all-southern hemisphere top three with the All Blacks set to celebrate five years atop the ranking this Sunday and South Africa second despite their defeat to Ireland.

However, Ireland would have climbed above Australia were it not for JP Pietersen’s last-minute try reducing South Africa’s margin of defeat below 15 points. That score meant Ireland stayed fifth, albeit now only six tenths away from a third place they haven’t occupied since October 2003.

Prior to Saturday's match, the All Blacks held a 2.74 point advantage, which has now stretched to 4.68.

France have climbed one place to sixth on the back of their 40-15 victory over Fiji in Marseille, wing Teddy Thomas scoring a hat-trick on debut to lift Les Bleus above the losing Welsh. France, though, are more than four and a half points behind their RWC 2015 Pool D opponents Ireland.

Scotland improve their rating with the 41-31 victory over Argentina but remain eighth. Argentina stay 10th with Samoa falling two places to 11th on the back of a 24-13 loss to Italy, the Azzurri’s first victory of 2014 not enough to improve their position of 14th.

The defeats by Samoa and Argentina mean that Japan have returned to the top 10 and their highest ever position of ninth without playing a Test, the Japanese were in action over the weekend but only against the Maori All Blacks, losing 20-18.

USA were the only other movers in the top 20, climbing two places to 16th and swapping places with Romania, the side they beat 27-17 in Bucharest on Saturday with Takudzwa Ngwenya scoring the try of the match with a long-range effort.

Tonga and Canada did both improve their ratings with victories over Georgia and Namibia respectively, but they remain unchanged 13th and 17th. Tonga’s 23-9 victory over their RWC 2015 opponents Georgia has closed the gap to Fiji above them.

Namibia remain 22nd after the loss to Canada, while Russia have inched closer to Uruguay – the side that ended their RWC 2015 dreams last month – after winning the first of their two-Test series with Hong Kong 31-10 on Saturday. Hong Kong fall one to 25th, swapping places with Korea.

Top 20 in the latest IRB world rankings:

1. New Zealand 93.70
2. South Africa 89.02
3. Australia 85.44
4. England 85.12
5. Ireland 84.84
6. France 80.25
7. Wales 79.78
8. Scotland 78.27
9. Japan 75.63
10. Argentina 75.45
11. Samoa 75.11
12. Fiji 74.34
13. Tonga 73.89
14. Italy 72.16
15. Georgia 69.40
16. USA 68.71
17. Canada 67.92
18. Romania 67.01
19. Uruguay 63.58
20. Russia 63.54

Read more on:    irb  |  rugby

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