Kenya climb to new high in rankings

(IRB.COM) Monday 19 July 2010
 
 Kenya climb to new high in rankings
Kenya's fans have had much to cheer about in recent weeks - Photo: IRB/Martin Seras Lima

Kenya have risen to a new high of 32nd in the IRB World Rankings following a first ever win in Zimbabwe in their Victoria Cup encounter on Saturday, crossing for three tries in the 23-18 victory at the Harare Sports Clubs in the Zimbabwean capital.

The latest three place rise means the African side have now jumped nine places in July alone on the back of victories over Uganda, home and away, and now Zimbabwe with the Czech Republic, Hong Kong and Tunisia the latest to fall as a result of Kenya's climb.

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Kenya are the only one of four African nations in action over the weekend to improve their rating with South Africa remaining second, albeit further behind New Zealand after a second successive Tri Nations loss, and Tunisia and Zimbabwe sliding three one and four places respectively.

South Africa now trail number one side New Zealand by 4.33 rating points after slipping to a second Tri Nations bonus point loss against the All Blacks in as many weeks, tries from Ma'a Nonu, Mils Muliaina, Rene Ranger and Israel Dagg securing a 31-17 win at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Despite the loss, the Springboks still have a cushion of exactly four rating points over third ranked side Australia who they face in round three of the Tri Nations at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane this coming Saturday.

Tunisia fall one place to 35th as a result of Kenya's elevation with their rating unchanged despite a 56-13 loss to the higher ranked Romania in Buzau, a defeat that ended their hopes of qualifying for a first ever Rugby World Cup.

Romania's victory, which keeps alive their hopes of maintaining an ever present record at Rugby World Cups, leaves them in 19th place. Uruguay, the side standing between Romania and a place in Pool B at RWC 2011, did climb one place to 21st after beating Kazakhstan 44-7.

Uruguay swap places with Portugal following the victory on home soil in Montevideo in their cross-continental play-off with Kazakhstan, who themselves fall one place to 27th with Belgium assuming their previous position.

Zimbabwe, though, are the biggest fallers of the week with a four place slide to 51st on the back of their defeat by Kenya. Their fall means that Madagascar, Malta, Sweden and Papua New Guinea all rise one place in the IRB World Rankings.