There is a Rugby World Cup flavour to this week’s IRB World Rankings update, with all but one of the week’s internationals counting towards qualification for the tournament England in 2015.
Kuala Lumpur’s Royal Selangor Club was the place to be with eight matches taking place in the HSBC Asian 5 Nations as Divisions 2 and 3 reached their conclusion.
Division 3 champions India are the big movers with a jump of 12 places, while Thailand also shoot up the table thanks to their 22-19 win over Malaysia in the Division 2 final.
Thailand rise five places to 60th in the world, with a play-off to come against India for the next stage of RWC qualification.
India were run close by Guam in their final, prevailing 18-16 despite a Guam comeback that saw them score all the second-half points after trailing 18-6 at the break.
India had accounted for neighbours Pakistan 34-5 en route to the final, and their success secures ranking bragging rights. The two countries’ contrasting on-field fortunes are mirrored in the standings – Pakistan slip down four to 77, the previous position of India, who leap to 65th.
Guam’s performance in running India so close was praiseworthy but the defeat sees them drop two places to 90th. Unfortunately for Guam, their win over Indonesia (38-17) is not factored into the calculations as the latter are not full IRB members.
Likewise, Thailand’s 37-17 win over Iran has no bearing on the table as Iran are only IRB associate members. Iran’s 52-3 defeat by China is similarly discounted, while Pakistan does not suffer in ranking terms from losing to Indonesia 13-7 in the two other Asian Five Nations games.
Malaysia’s defeat consigns them to 64th, a drop of one place, despite a resounding 89-0 win over China, who tumble down the ranks from 62 to 69.
Adrian Rainstein’s two tries may have helped seal a 15-0 home victory for Israel over Denmark at the Wingate Sports Institute, north of Tel Aviv, but events around them in the rankings see the Israelis drop from 57th to 58th.
Rounding off the weekend’s action, Guyana’s solid 20-0 defeat of Trinidad & Tobago in the North America Caribbean Rugby Association Championship lifts them from 59 to 57 in the rankings as well as keeping their RWC 2015 dream alive. The defeat, meanwhile, pushes Trinidad & Tobago out of the world top 50 – down four spots to 53rd.
The IRB World Rankings are published every Monday at midday UK time.