Czech Republic and Mexico surge up rankings

(IRB.COM) Monday 28 April 2014
 
 Czech Republic and Mexico surge up rankings
The Czech Republic upset Moldova and climb nine places in the rankings as a result - Photo: Martin Flousek

Mexico and the Czech Republic are the biggest climbers in the latest IRB World Rankings after jumping eight and nine places respectively following victories over higher ranked opponents on Saturday.

The Mexicans overwhelmed Bermuda 56-9 to surge eight places to a new high of 66th and condemn their visitors to a five place fall to 57th, significantly closing the 22 places that had separated the two nations in the rankings before kick-off.

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The Czech Republic pulled off a shock 37-19 win over Moldova in Division 1B of the European Nations Cup 2014 to rise nine places to 40th, the highest position they have occupied since November 2012.

Their relegation to Division 2B had already been confirmed beforehand but the victory in Prague did end Moldova’s hopes of beating Germany to the title and the double reward of promotion to the top tier and continuation in the region’s qualification process for Rugby World Cup 2015. 

Moldova also fall four places to 29th with Germany taking over their previous position following a two-place elevation to 25th - the highest they have ever occupied - on the back of a 45-20 victory over Sweden in Enkoping. Sweden fall three places to 45th as a result of the loss on home soil.

Germany’s reward as Division 1B champions is a play-off with the Netherlands on 10 May with the winner to then face Russia a fortnight later for the right to represent Europe in the Repechage to determine the 20th and final qualifier for England 2015.

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The other Division 1B encounter on Saturday saw the Ukraine edge Poland 29-28, a win that lifts them one place to 32nd in the rankings and condemns their visitors to a three-place fall to 37th.

In Division 2A Lithuania ran out 24-18 winners over Switzerland to climb four places to 51st. The victory, though, was not enough to avoid relegation after finishing level on points with Croatia, Lithuania going down on the record between the two teams. The defeat condemned Switzerland to a three-place fall to 46th.

Latvia caused a surprise by beating Division 2B champions Israel 29-22 in Riga, a result that earns them a play-off with Croatia to keep the dream of promotion alive and also a six-place climb to 64th in the rankings. Israel fall by the same margin to 52nd.

The Division 2C match over the weekend had no bearing on the rankings as Cyprus – who beat Bulgaria 46-15 are not yet a member of the International Rugby Board.

Luxembourg, though, were convincing 52-8 winners over Greece in their Division 2D encounter in Thessaloniki to jump six places to 86th and condemn their hosts to a four-place fall to 100th, leaving only Finland now below the Greeks in the rankings.

Meanwhile in South America, Brazil created a piece of history with a first ever win over Chile in a Test match. Brazil ran out 24-16 winners over their visitors in Sao Paulo in the opening weekend of the South American Championship 2014.

The win lifts Brazil four places to 33rd in the rankings with Chile actually climbing one place despite the loss as a consequence of Moldova’s slide. The other match saw Uruguay beat Paraguay 34-10 in Asuncion, although the sides remain 20th and 38th in the rankings.

There were also two Asian 5 Nations matches on Saturday which saw Hong Kong overwhelm the Philippines 108-0 and Korea beat Sri Lanka 59-3. These Top 5 matches had no impact on the rankings due to the differences between the teams so Korea and Hong Kong remain 23rd and 26th respectively. The Philippines do climb a place, though, to 56th on the back of Bermuda’s drop.

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Another Asian side on the climb are Singapore, who did not improve their rating by beating UAE 30-13 in their Asian 5 Nations Division I encounter in Dubai on Wednesday, but climb for the same reason as the Philippines.