Malta continued their recent surge up the IRB World Rankings with a 14-10 European Nations Cup Division 2A win over Lithuania in La Valetta. Before their opening two matches in this season’s tournament, they were in 53rd place. They are now in 42nd, less than one rating point behind Paraguay.
But they were made to fight by Lithuania, who held a 10-0 lead at the break, before Malta scored 14 unanswered points in the second half.
Croatia, one of Malta’s challengers in the ENC Division 2A title race, recovered from an opening day loss against Sweden to defeat Latvia 34-8. Croatia move into the top 50 of the IRB World Rankings whilst Latvia fall one place to 69th.
In the ENC Division 2C, Hungary began their match against Austria sitting in 77th in the rankings, three places above their opponents. But Austria’s comfortable 38-7 victory sees them jump one place above Hungary into 77th.
Czech Republic fell to their second ENC Division 1B defeat of the season, against Belgium. Although the Belgians gained more than 0.5 ratings points (and Czech republic lost the same amount), both teams remain in their pre-match rankings positions of 25th and 34th respectively.
The IRB World Rankings are published on irb.com each Monday at 12 midday UK time.