Korea climb three in latest rankings

(IRB.COM) Monday 7 May 2012
 
 Korea climb three in latest rankings
Korea wing In Soo Cho evades Hong Kong replacement Rory Hussey during his side's 21-19 win over Hong Kong in the HSBC A5N Top 5

A late try from Korea centre Park Noh-woon didn’t only snatch victory over Hong Kong on Saturday – it also lifts his side three places up the IRB World Rankings.

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Korea’s 21-19 victory in the HSBC Asian 5 Nations Top 5 match puts them 28th in the world - overtaking their opponents in the process (Hong Kong are down to 29th place from 26th).

With just three minutes left at the Hong Kong Football Club Ground, Park went over to seal victory in Korea’s first game back in Asia’s top-tier tournament.

Korea, who sat out the first round with a bye, were relegated from the Top 5 in 2010 but gained promotion last year.

Other tries came from centre Kim Nam-wook and winger Cho In-soo, all converted by fly-half Oh Youn-hyung.

A try from hooker Tom Bolland plus the kicking of fly half Mike Glancy and replacement Jamie Hood had put Hong Kong in charge before Park’s thrilling finale.

Six-try debut

In the same competition, Japan’s 106-3 victory over the United Arab Emirates does not affect their world No.14 spot as the latter are not full IRB members (and therefore not ranked) – but that will hardly lessen the jubilation of Yoshikazu Fujita.

The 18-year-old wing scored six tries on his debut - a competition record – and became the youngest player capped by Japan in the encounter at Fukuoka’s Level-5 Stadium.

Elsewhere, four European Nations Cup matches took place over the weekend, with Sweden’s 31-3 win over Latvia in Division 2A edging them one place higher to 82.

Just behind are Austria, who drop three to 83 after losing 11-6 to Norway in Division 2C; the Norwegians rise two spots to 91.

Lithuania stay static at 37th but their 28-26 win over Croatia in Vilnius improves their ranking points slightly from 50.57 to 50.90. Croatia exchange places with Papua New Guinea at 47 and 48 in the list.

Luxembourg remain at 95th in the world despite defeating Greece 15-8 in Division 2D as the latter is not a full member of the IRB.

A few time zones to the west, Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados wrapped up the weekend’s ranking-relevant action in Port of Spain, meeting in the North America Caribbean Rugby Association Championship.

Trinidad & Tobago’s 32-3 win – in a fixture that doubled as a Rugby World Cup qualifier – lifts them two places in the IRB World Rankings to 49, while their opponents drop two to 67.

The IRB World Rankings are published every Monday at midday UK time.