Georgia biggest climbers in rankings

(IRB.COM) Monday 22 March 2010
 
 Georgia biggest climbers in rankings
Besarion Udesiani scored one of Georgia's tries against Russia - Photo: Vano Shlamo/AFP

Georgia are the biggest movers in the IRB World Rankings, climbing two places back to 16th after overwhelming Russia 36-8 to successfully defend the European Nations Cup title and confirm their place in Pool B at Rugby World Cup 2011.

Awarded the Order of Honor by the Georgian President on their return home following a five-try victory in north-east Turkey, the Lelos regain the two places lost on the back of the previous weekend's loss to Romania.

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The USA Eagles slide one place to 17th and now sit only mere thousandths above Romania, who have climbed above Russia into 18th after emerging 20-9 winners over Portugal in their must-win encounter in Lisbon.

Romania's victory guaranteed third place in the European Nations Cup standings to end Portugal's hopes of playing in a second Rugby World Cup and keep alive the chances of preserving their ever present record in the showpiece event.

Portugal had needed to avoid defeat on home soil to confirm themselves in third place to set up a play-off with Lithuania or Ukraine, but defeat ended that dream and leaves them still 20th in the IRB World Rankings.

The heart-breaking loss means that Portugal now have only a four-tenth cushion over Uruguay and trail Russia by more than four points. Russia themselves have now fallen to 1.6 rating points behind Romania.

The weekend's other European Nations Cup match saw Spain score a last minute try to triumph 21-17 in Heidelberg and condemn Germany to relegation back to Division 2A for the next season.

Scotland only Six Nations climber

Spain have not improved their position of 25th, but have cut the deficit to Korea above them to two tenths with Chile only five hundredths above the Asian side who still harbour their own dreams of playing at Rugby World Cup 2011.

However, a tenth successive defeat in the top tier has resulted in another two place fall for Germany to 31st with Tunisia and Belgium the beneficiaries. Germany, who have fallen five places since the European Nations Cup resumed in early February, now only sit 0.16 above Morocco.

The only other positional change in the IRB World Rankings sees Scotland return to ninth, swapping places with Fiji, after beating Ireland 23-20 in the final rugby international to be played at Croke Park thanks to a late Dan Parks' penalty.

Scotland's first win in the RBS Six Nations 2010 ensured they avoided the wooden spoon and took them nine tenths above Fiji and just over two points behind Wales, who improved their rating by two tenths by beating Italy 33-10 at the Millennium Stadium.

Ireland's defeat denied them the Triple Crown but has not resulted in a fall from fifth in the rankings as they still hold a just over two point cushion over Argentina. They do now, though, trail France by 2.82 points after Les Bleus beat seventh ranked England 12-10 to win a first Grand Slam since 2004.

France's victory ensures they remain the leading northern hemisphere nation in the IRB World Rankings and brings them to within 13 hundredths of Australia above them. They do still trail number one side New Zealand by six points.