Uruguay return to top 20 in rankings

(IRB.COM) Monday 14 November 2011
 
 Uruguay return to top 20 in rankings
Portugal's fans would not have been celebrating after defeat by Uruguay

Uruguay have returned to the top 20 of the IRB World Rankings for the first time since early February after climbing three places on the back of a 16-9 victory over Portugal in a one-off Test in Caldas da Rainha on Sunday.

While Los Teros are the biggest climbers of the last seven days, the defeat has proved costly for Portugal with Errol Brain’s side dropping four places to 24th – their lowest position since the IRB World Rankings were introduced in October 2003.

Portugal’s fall means that Chile and Spain both rise one place, while Rugby World Cup 2011 participants Namibia drop one to 20th as a result of Uruguay’s victory over Los Lobos.

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Another side to fall four places were Slovenia, after their 15-6 loss to Andorra in the European Nations Cup. The Division 2B defeat on home soil sees Slovenia fall to 77th with their conquerors rising one place to 57th at the expense of Chinese Taipei.

Switzerland ran out 27-19 winners over Serbia in the other Division 2B encounter on Saturday with their reward a two-place climb above Madagascar and the Cook Islands into 54th. Serbia’s loss sees them fall three places to 66th with Malaysia, Peru and Thailand the beneficiaries.

Germany are also on the rise, climbing one place to 36th on the back of a 23-7 win over the Netherlands in Division 1B, a result which condemned their visitors to a two-place fall to 45th. The other Division 1B match saw Moldova and Poland draw 17-17, the home side sliding two places to 30th, dropping them below their Polish visitors.

The weekend’s other European Nations Cup encounter saw Greece overcome Finland 16-6, but this match had no impact on the IRB World Rankings as the victors are not yet a Full Member Union of the International Rugby Board and therefore not ranked.

Kenya’s victory over the higher ranked Tunisia in the Africa Cup Division 1A final, though, did result in a change with the African champions climbing one place to 40th to leave them now just over a rating point behind the Tunisians, who slipped two places to 39th with the defeat.