Switzerland were the big climbers in the latest IRB World Rankings after a busy round of European Nations Cup matches at the weekend.
With six ENC clashes taking place on Saturday that could impact the World Rankings, there was plenty of movement in the standings with the fixtures also counting for valuable steps along the road towards the next Rugby World Cup.
At the Stade de Colovray in Nyon, home team Switzerland recorded a 37-21 win over Division 2A rivals Lithuania, who were higher-placed before the match; now nine places separate the sides.
Victory enabled the Swiss to continue their march up the rankings, having risen five places the week before. Their latest victory sees them move six places up the rankings to 40, while Lithuania’s top-50 standing is looking a little precarious as they drop from 44th to 49th and only 0.22 ranking points ahead of 51st-ranked Papua New Guinea.
With Division 1A settled for this year, the Poland v Moldova clash for Division 1B points in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, was the highest-ranked contest of the weekend’s action.
Poland’s 24-20 defeat means they drop two spots to 27th, with their ranking total of 56.13 leaving them just 0.17 points ahead of Germany. Moldova consolidate their place in the top 30, increasing their ranking points from 52.60 to 53.77.
The Netherlands started the weekend in 39th but their convincing 48-10 result over Malta in Division 2A lifts them above Kenya, Paraguay and Sri Lanka to claim 36th place in the world with 50.50 ranking points.
The Maltese, meanwhile, drop two places to sit in 50th and are just 0.08 ranking points from dropping out of the top half of the rankings table.
In Division 2B, Denmark ran up a 38-0 victory over Serbia in Odense. The Danes had started the day anchored to the foot of the table but the fact they had played only two matches made the table slightly skewed, and they capitalised on one of their games in hand. Victory lifts them from 66th to 61st while Serbia drop from 74 to 77.
In ENC Division 2D, Norway came unstuck in Athens, losing 21-14 to Greece to drop two places in the rankings to 95th. Greece stay in 99th but with improved points.
Also in 2D, Bosnia & Herzegovina beat Luxembourg 33-23 to rise three places to 86th; Luxembourg’s standing, however, rose one place to 93rd due to Norway’s fall.
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