Hong Kong and Germany have not only remained in the hunt for a place at Rugby World Cup 2015 with victories on Saturday but also climbed two places to their highest ever positions in the IRB World Rankings.
In the Asian 5 Nations, Hong Kong made the most of home advantage to overwhelm Korea 39-6 and confirm at least a place in the Repechage to determine the final qualifier for RWC 2015, a victory which lifts them to 23rd and sees their visitors fall three to 26.
Germany edged the Netherlands 17-7 in Amsterdam to set up a meeting with Russia on 24 May to determine who will represent Europe in that Repechage. The victory means Germany now occupy 24th with the Dutch slipping three to 28.
Flankers Alexander Hug (2) and Kehoma Brenner scored Germany’s tries with all of the points coming in the first half of the penultimate match of the European qualifying process for RWC 2015.
VIEW THE FULL RANKINGS >>
READ A REPORT OF ASIA'S LATEST RWC 2015 QUALIFIERS >>
There was one other qualifying match for England 2015 over the weekend with Japan running out 132-10 winners over Sri Lanka in Nagoya, a result that had no impact on the rankings due to the 28 places and more than 20 rating points separating the two.
Sri Lanka do actually fall a place to 42nd as a result of Kazakhstan’s 37-8 victory over Chinese Taipei in Division 1 of the Asian 5 Nations, a win that ensures their place in the second tier of the competition when it is restructured in 2015.
Kazakhstan have climbed four places to 40th as a result of the victory in Hong Kong with Chinese Taipei sliding as many positions to 63rd with Thailand, Colombia, Guyana and Latvia the beneficiaries.
In South America, the CONSUR Championship came to a conclusion with Uruguay claiming the title with an emphatic 55-13 victory over Chile in Montevideo. The result had no impact on the rankings with Uruguay remaining 20th, seven places above their visitors.
Paraguay upset the higher ranked Brazil 31-24 in Asuncion, but while they improve their rating by almost a point they remain 38th. They now sit directly behind Brazil, who fall three places to 37th on the back of the defeat.
There were also two matches in Division 2D of the European Nations Cup 2014, but neither resulted in any positional changes in the IRB World Rankings. Norway improved their rating by more than six tenths with a 45-23 win over Greece, but the sides remain 95th and 100th respectively.
Luxembourg proved too strong for Finland to win 27-7 on home soil, but with 14 places and more than eight points separating the two sides the result had no impact on the latest rankings.
The opening two matches in the NACRA Championship had no impact on the IRB World Rankings as they involved a representative team or unions that are not a Full Member Union of the International Rugby Board. USA South beat Bermuda 33-6, while Curacao overwhelmed St Lucia 56-7.
Germany's dreams of RWC 2015 remain alive after beating the Netherlands - Photo: Wim Peperkamp / Dutch Rugby Union