Three nations on the rise in rankings

(IRB.COM) Monday 12 October 2009
 Three nations on the rise in rankings
Hungary avenged last year's defeat by Slovenia - Photo: FIRA-AER

Ukraine are the biggest movers in the latest IRB World Rankings with a four place climb to 26th following a narrow 13-11 victory over Belgium in Division 2A of the European Nations Cup on Saturday.

The victory in Kiev takes Ukraine to their highest position in nearly five years with Germany, Tunisia, Kazakhstan and Brazil all sliding one as a result. of their climb. Belgium remain 32nd despite the loss, albeit now only four hundredths above Morocco.

Ukraine, who suffered their only ENC defeat against Belgium (9-8) last season, now sit seven points clear in the Division 2A standings and on track to finish top and earn a play-off with Lithuania in the region's qualifying process for RWC 2011.


Hungary, meanwhile, climb three places to 61st on the back of their 17-11 defeat of Slovenia in Pécs on Saturday, a result which sees them also knock their visitors of the top of the Division 3B standings on point differential.

Slovenia, who were crowned Division 3A champions last season with an unbeaten record, slide five places to 66th with the defeat and will be looking to bounce back immediately with victory over Austria this coming weekend in Ljubljana.

Slovenia's unbeaten record may have gone, but Lithuania retained theirs with a comfortable 40-12 defeat of 72nd ranked Andorra at the Savivaldbye Stadium in Siauliai.

The win leaves Lithuania seven points clear at the top of Division 3A, but does not have any impact on their ranking with them having gone into the match 34 places and 10.42 rating points above their visitors.

The final European Nations Cup match of the weekend also resulted in changes to the IRB World Rankings with Bosnia & Herzegovina climbing one place to 89th - and back to the top of Division 3D - after overcoming Monaco 23-8 in Zenica.

Bosnia & Herzegovina had been more convincing winners - 50-5 - when the sides met last season and would have climbed even higher had the winning margin been even a point greater. The defeat means Monaco fall two to 91st.