Israel have inched closer to Serbia and the Cayman Islands above them after overcoming Austria 20-11 in their European Nations Cup 2012 encounter at the Wingate Institute in Netanya on Saturday.
The victory does not improve Israel's position of 71st, but it means they now sit only two tenths behind the Cayman Islands in 69th and within touching distance of a new highest ever position since the rankings were introduced in October 2003.
Israel, however, do return to the top of the European Nations Cup Division 2C standings. Austria, meanwhile, slide three places to 85th as a result of the defeat, with Guam, Swaziland and Jamaica the beneficiaries.
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This was the only match over the weekend that had any impact on the IRB World Rankings, although national teams were also in action in the Viking Tri Nations and NACRA Men's Championship.
Sweden hosted the first Viking Tri Nations match and ran out convincing 55-15 winners over Denmark, thanks to tries from Robin Fransson (2), Rikard Johansson, Tobias Borg, Lee Sandberg, Ian Gowland, Sami Paulsson and Daniel Nissila (2).
However, with Sweden ranked 27 places above their visitors at 40th, the emphatic win at the Brunnsängen IP Arena in Södertälje had no effect on the IRB World Rankings. The inaugural competition will also see Norway face both Sweden and Denmark later in the year.
The NACRA Men's Championship also got underway on Saturday with a match in both the North and South zones with Mexico and the British Virgin Islands emerging victorious against USA South and St Vincent & The Grenadines respectively.
Mexico made the most of home advantage to beat USA South 25-9 in New Mexico and now await the winner of the Cayman Islands v Jamaica encounter this coming weekend for the right to join Bermuda and the Bahamas in round two.
The British Virgin Islands edged their hosts 25-13 and can now look forward to a meeting with either Barbados or St Lucia for a place in the next stage. However, the victory over a side ranked 75th did not impact the IRB World Rankings as British Virgin Islands are not yet a Full Member Union of the International Rugby Board and therefore not ranked.
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