With 10 matches across Europe and Asia over the last seven days there have been some big climbs and falls in the IRB World Rankings, with Sri Lanka and Moldova enjoying the biggest with six-place gains.
Moldova ran out comfortable 38-18 winners over their hosts Ukraine in Odessa on Sunday to climb to 30th, while Sri Lanka’s wins over Thailand (45-7) and Kazakhstan (48-19) to win the HSBC Asian 5 Nations Division I title has lifted them to a new high of 38th.
By winning Division I on home soil with a perfect record, Sri Lanka have kept their hopes of Rugby World Cup 2015 qualification alive as they will play in the Top 5 in 2014 when the Asia 1 qualifier will be determined.
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Six other teams enjoyed climbs as a result of victories in RWC 2015 qualifiers over the weekend with Germany the highest ranked of them, climbing one place to 28th after overwhelming Sweden 73-16 in Division 1B of the European Nations Cup 2014.
Switzerland jump five places to 46th after beating Malta 19-10 in Division 2A, a result which condemned their hosts to a nine place drop to 48th, making them the biggest fallers of the last seven days.
Israel’s narrow 17-15 win over Latvia was enough to lift them two places to 52nd, while Chinese Taipei climb three places to 57th after beating Thailand 52-23 to avoid relegation to Division II of the Asian 5 Nations in 2014.
Bulgaria are another nation enjoying a new high in the IRB World Rankings after beating Slovenia 2014 in Division 2C, a result which lifts them four places to 77th. Hungary also tasted victory in this ENC division, edging their Austria 11-10 and climbing two places to 81st.
The defeat was a costly one for Austria as they drop six places to 92nd with Guam, the Bahamas, Swaziland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Nigeria and Monaco the beneficiaries.
Falling down the rankings
Slovenia have themselves dropped four places to 82nd, their lowest ever position in the rankings. They were not the only sides to suffer significant falls after defeats though as the Ukraine and Thailand also saw their ranking plummet.
Ukraine slip five places to 35th after losing to Moldova, while Thailand’s losses to Sri Lanka and Chinese Taipei wipe out all of their gain from last week’s shock win over Kazakhstan and more to leave them 60th.
Kazakhstan’s ranking has slipped two places to 43rd, but the fall was lessened by their win over Thailand earlier in the week. Two defeats from three matches in Colombo, though, have seen Kazakhstan’s ranking fall by eight places in just over a week.
Latvia slip one place to 63rd as a result of their defeat by Israel with Sweden the only side not to fall as a result of a loss. They remain 34th, albeit now closer to the Ukraine below them than Brazil above.
The only match over the weekend not to have an impact on the IRB World Rankings was Barbados' 41-3 win over Curacao in the NACRA Men's Championship 2013. This is because Curacao are not a member of the International Rugby Board and therefore not ranked.
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