A busy week of international rugby on three continents saw two nations surpass a century of points, but the victories for Japan and Uruguay – over the United Arab Emirates and Paraguay respectively – had no impact on their IRB World Rankings.
Japan secured a fourth successive HSBC Asian 5 Nations title by overwhelming the UAE 111-0 in Dubai on Friday evening, running in 17 tries to extend their record to 15 bonus point victories in the competition and wrap up the title with a point to spare.
The emphatic win at 7he Sevens did not have any impact on Japan’s 13th position because the United Arab Emirates are not a Full Member Union of the International Rugby Board and therefore not ranked.
Uruguay kicked off their South American Championship campaign in style with the 102-6 win over Paraguay, but with 19 places and 10.71 rating points separating the two rivals the victory had no impact for Los Teros and leaves them 21st.
The loss did result in a one-place drop for Paraguay to 40th, albeit only because Sweden, the side below them, improved their rating by beating Latvia 54-29 and climbed above them. Sweden’s win also sees them crowned European Nations Cup Division 2A champions for 2010/11, although they will only earn promotion if they sit top when the competition concludes next year.
Chile, unlike Uruguay, did manage to improve their rating by beating Brazil 25-6 in the day’s other South American Championship match, giving them some breathing space over Belgium below them in 25th. Brazil, though, fall two places to 29th with Hong Kong and Moldova the beneficiaries.
Brazil now sit less than two tenths above Kazakhstan, another side to taste victory over the weekend. Kazakhstan ran out 34-18 winners over Sri Lanka in a must-win Asian 5 Nations encounter to leave their visitors to Almaty needing to avoid defeat against Japan to stay in the Top 5.
The loss does not result in a fall from 44th in the IRB World Rankings for Sri Lanka, but does see them slip further behind the Ivory Coast and cut their advantage over Trinidad & Tobago to only five hundredths of a rating point.
Austria - biggest climbers
The other changes to the IRB World Rankings came as a result of matches in the European Nations Cup 2012 with Austria enjoying the biggest climb of the week – four places to 80th – after beating Denmark 23-16 in Division 2C.
Austria’s win lifts them above Swaziland, St Lucia, Guam and Bulgaria, the latter falling despite edging Finland 12-10 in Division 2D. The cost of defeat by a side 22 places below them proved costly for Denmark, who plummet eight places to 62nd.
Another Scandinavian country on the slide were Norway, who fall four places to 89th following a 15-3 loss to Israel in the other Division 2C match on Saturday. Israel, confirmed as the Divisional champions for 2010/11, themselves climb three places to 68th.
Latvia were the only other side to suffer a fall in the IRB World Rankings, dropping three places to 60th as a result of the loss at home against Sweden with Malaysia, Venezuela and Andorra the beneficiaries.
There were also four matches in Division IV of the HSBC Asian 5 Nations 2011, although none had any impact on the IRB World Rankings because none of the participants are Full Member Unions of the IRB and therefore not ranked.