With England losing 1.47 points for their loss in Edinburgh and Ireland gaining just under four tenths for beating Wales 37-27 in Dublin, the gap between the teams ranked second and third in the World Rugby Rankings is now down to 2.27 points.
Scotland’s first win over England in 10 years has seen them climb up to fifth in the World Rugby Rankings. The 25-13 victory continued their impressive form at Murrayfield – they have now won six on the bounce at home in the Six Nations – and was worth a fraction under one-and-a-half points, enough to take them above both Wales and South Africa.
The Scots, who are Ireland’s next opponents at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday week (March 10), now have 84.43 points and are just over a point away from catching Australia and claiming a place in the top four for the first time since the rankings were introduced in October 2003.
New Zealand’s advantage over second-ranked England, who have Ireland close behind them, at the top has grown to 4.61 points. Wales played a full part in a memorable 59-point clash with Joe Schmidt’s men, but their second defeat of the Championship, following the 12-6 loss to England a fortnight ago, cost them 0.36 of a point.
Friday’s 34-17 triumph over Italy in Marseilles prevented France slipping below Japan in the rankings for the first time. The 0.12-point gained, however, was not enough to see them climb any higher than their current position of 10th. Italy remain 14th but have lost a bit more ground on Tonga above them.
WORLD RUGBY RANKINGS (as of Monday, February 26):
Last week’s positions in brackets –
1(1) New Zealand 93.99 rating points
2(2) England 89.38
3(3) IRELAND 87.21
4(4) Australia 85.49
5(7) Scotland 84.43
6(5) South Africa 83.81
7(6) Wales 83.07
8(8) Argentina 78.22
9(9) Fiji 77.93
10(10) France 77.56
11(11) Japan 75.66
12(12) Georgia 73.46
13(13) Tonga 71.87
14(14) Italy 71.13
15(15) Samoa 69.03