Canada’s reward for beating neighbours USA 16-9 on the opening weekend of the IRB Pacific Nations Cup 2013 is a one-place climb to 13th in the latest IRB World Rankings, lifting them above Fiji, the side they will face next on 5 June.
The Canucks’ win over USA at Ellerslie Rugby Park in Edmonton will also give them a confidence boost ahead of the home and away play-off between the two powerhouses of North American rugby in August to determine the Americas 1 qualifier for Rugby World Cup 2015.
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Canada’s win has only improved their rating by just under four tenths, but that is enough to lift them above Fiji. However, they still trail Italy above them by more than four rating points so climbing higher towards their best ever position of 11th will take some time.
The USA Eagles remain 16th despite the defeat, albeit now less than three tenths above Georgia.
The opening PNC 2013 match on Saturday had seen Tonga overcome hosts Japan 27-17 at Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Stadium in Yokohama, although the victory was not quite enough to improve their ranking of 11th.
Had they won in Yokohama by more than 15 points they would have climbed above Scotland, a side they now trail by just six hundredths. The win though did improve their advantage over Italy from just four hundredths to more than seven tenths.
Japan, the Pacific Nations Cup champions in 2011 who now travel to Lautoka to play Fiji on 1 June, remain 15th in the rankings and are now sandwiched more evenly between the Fijians above them and the Eagles below.
The only other positional change in the IRB World Rankings came as a result of the NACRA (North American Caribbean Rugby Union) Championship encounter between Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago at Garrison Savannah in Bridgetown.
Trinidad & Tobago ran out 19-6 winners to close to within five tenths of Croatia above them in 53rd. The defeat was a costly one for Barbados, as they fall one place to 72nd with Niue the beneficiaries. It could have been worse with Barbados now just one hundredth above Peru below them.
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