Six Nations

Ireland hang on to No 2 rankings spot, Boks 5th

2019-02-04 14:45
Joe Schmidt (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Scrumhalf John Cooney's late try may not have had any bearing on the outcome of the titanic Six Nations tussle between Ireland and England in Dublin, nor did it rescue a losing bonus point for the hosts, but it did prevent them relinquishing second place in the official World Rugby rankings to their victors.

Leading 32-13 with barely a minute to go, England were on course to leapfrog 2018's World Rugby Team of the Year but Cooney’s consolation effort reduced the margin between the teams sufficiently for Ireland to hold onto their status as New Zealand's nearest rivals in the rankings.

But the 32-20 defeat, Ireland's first at home in the Six Nations for six years, cost them 1.8 rating points, and with England getting an identical amount in return the gap between the two teams is down to just 1.36 points. The All Blacks' lead at the top has increased to 3.17 points.

England’s four tries to two victory sees them move one spot above Wales - despite a record-breaking comeback from the men in red against France in Paris - and into third place.

Wales started the weekend 1.02 points and one place ahead of England in the rankings but with only three-tenths of a point on offer for their victory over the lower-ranked French, and England profiting to the tune of 1.8 points, they have now slipped below Eddie Jones' men.

France, who surrendered a 16-0 half-time lead in losing 24-19, an unprecedented turn of events in Six Nations history, are also down one place to 10th, their joint lowest ranking since they were introduced in October 2003, with Argentina the beneficiaries.

In the other Six Nations game, Scotland defeated Italy 33-20 in Edinburgh but with over nine rating points between the sides before kick-off, the result had no impact on the rankings.

Meanwhile the Springboks remain where they finished 2018 - in fifth place (84.58 points), with the Wallabies one spot below them (82.40).

Top 20 in the current World Rugby rankings:

1. New Zealand 92.54
2. Ireland 89.37
3. England 88.02
4. Wales 87.55
5. South Africa 84.58
6. Australia 82.40
7. Scotland 81.84
8. Fiji 77.95
9. Argentina 77.05
10. France 77.02
11. Japan 75.24
12. USA 73.66
13. Georgia 73.42
14. Tonga 73.02
15. Italy 72.75
16. Samoa 68.78
17. Uruguay 67.13
18. Romania 65.45
19. Russia 65.20
20. Canada 62.64


22. Namibia 60.34
32. Kenya 52.79
40. Zimbabwe 49.28


Read more on:    england  |  italy  |  springboks  |  france  |  wales  |  scotland  |  ireland  |  six nations  |  rugby


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