Zimbabwe continue climb in Rankings

(IRB.COM) Monday 20 June 2011
 
 Zimbabwe continue climb in Rankings
Gardener Nechironga helped Zimbabwe reach a new high in the Rankings for a second successive week

Zimbabwe climbed a further two places in the IRB World Rankings to 40th after a 49-0 victory against Madagascar in the CAR Africa Cup.

The rise meant that the Sables have reached a new high since the Rankings were introduced in October 2003 for a second successive week having climbed five places last week following victory against Uganda.

Their 49-0 victory against Madagascar, assisted by braces from Shangai Mpofu, Gardener Nechironga and Lloyd Machanjare David, ensured Zimbabwe gained 1.34 rating points, taking their two-week gain to 2.89 and closed the gap on Sweden in 39th to 2.02 points.

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Paraguay and the Netherlands dropped two places due to Zimbabwe's climb to 41st and 42nd respectively but Madagascar also fell seven places to 53rd, their lowest ranking since 2005, after a second defeat this week - 58-30 to Uganda in the same competition.

Having lost 2.14 rating points after their two defeats, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad & Tobago, Croatia, Malta, Singapore, Bermuda and the Cook Islands were all beneficiaries of a one place rise and moved above Madagascar.

Uganda also enjoyed a rise in the Rankings after their victory against Madagascar, climbing from 45th to 44th and moving above Sri Lanka after gaining 0.83 rating points.

Namibia were the only other side to enjoy a rise in the Rankings this week, climbing one place from 21st to 20th after gaining 1.00 rating point.

Despite a 23-18 defeat to Georgia on Sunday, Namibia leapfrogged Portugal into 20th after a 29-23 victory against their European opponents in the Nations Cup. Georgia remained in 14th but closed the gap on Japan in 13th to 1.15.

The only other match this week, which did not effect the Rankings, was USA's 32-25 victory against Russia in the Churchill Cup. Following the result Russia now sit just .50 rating points above Namibia in 19th having lost .64 rating points and USA closed the gap on Tonga in 16th.