Denmark jump six places in rankings

(IRB.COM) Monday 27 April 2009
 Denmark jump six places in rankings
The Netherlands have climbed five places in the last two weeks with back to back victories - Photo: Lynn van Diest/NRB

Denmark are the biggest movers in the IRB World Rankings with a six-place climb to 66th following their 27-6 defeat of Austria in the European Nations Cup, just one of a number of fixtures doubling as Rugby World Cup 2011 qualifiers over the weekend.

The Danes have now won all three of their meetings with Austria and return to their highest position since last October with the Division 3B victory, a result which also means their hosts slide two places to 93rd.


Two other sides made jumps up the IRB World Rankings with Netherlands climbing four places to 36th on the back of a 27-9 victory in Malta, a win which ensured they sit top of Division 2B at the halfway stage of the European Nations Cup 2010.

Malta drop three places to 53rd, cancelling out the three places they had climbed last week following a 32-19 victory away in Latvia. The Latvians slid four places with that loss and dropped another after a 21-13 defeat in Croatia.

Latvia's one place fall means that Slovenia climb one place to 58th. Slovenia did play this weekend but the 14-10 victory over Norway did not alter their rating points given the 25 places that separated the two sides.

Double delight for Slovenia

The victory though did confirm Slovenia's place on top of the Division 3B standings and therefore their place in the first playoff of the European qualifying process for Rugby World Cup 2011. Slovenia will face the Division 3C top side on 9 May.

Croatia climb one place on the back of their victory of Latvia in Makarska - their first since May 1997 - to 45th, swapping places with Arabian Gulf and climbing to within six tenths of Sweden above them.

The only other European side to improve their ranking were Bulgaria, who climbed three places to 89th with a 29-10 victory over Finland in Division 3C. Finland remain bottom of the rankings, albeit now three rating points behind Luxembourg.

Luxembourg were in action at the weekend, losing 17-14 to Greece, although this did not impact the IRB World Rankings as their opponents are not yet a Full Member Union of the International Rugby Board and therefore not ranked.

Little change in Asia and Americas

The HSBC Asian Five Nations Top 5 kicked off on Saturday with two matches, although neither had any impact on the rankings due to the gaps between the opposing sides.

Defending champions Japan, who are ranked 16th, ran out 87-10 winners over Kazakhstan (34th) in Osaka, while Korea (22nd) were also convincing 65-0 victors in their first ever meeting with Top 5 newcomers Singapore (49th).

The opening match day of the South American Championship 2009 also yielded convincing victories for Uruguay and Chile, although only one of these had any effect on the IRB World Rankings.

Chile and Brazil met in the latest Rugby World Cup qualifying match in the Americas in Viña del Mar and it was the hosts who triumphed 79-3. The win did not improve Chile's position of 24th, but it did open a cushion over Namibia below.

The defeat, Brazil's first of their qualifying campaign that began last June and their 10th in 11 meetings with Chile, means that Pierre Paparemborde's side fall one place to 28th, swapping positions with Belgium.

Uruguay's 85-7 defeat of Paraguay is not a Rugby World Cup qualifier - Paraguay having seen their participation ended by Brazil in the South American B Championship last year - and did not impact either side's positions of 20th and 33rd respectively.

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