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Ireland Reach New Points High In World Rankings

Ireland Reach New Points High In World Rankings

While Ireland understandably captured most of the headlines following their first ever home win over New Zealand, their next opponents, the USA, enjoyed a landmark achievement of their own some 2,000 miles away in Bucharest.

Today’s World Rugby Rankings update has Ireland still in second place, but their first ever home win over New Zealand has closed the gap on the world’s number one ranked team to just 1.37 rating points. The historic result earned Ireland 1.05 points, while the All Blacks came down from 93.58 to 92.54 points.

Ireland’s current points total of 91.17 is their highest ever, with Joe Schmidt’s men passing the 90-point mark for the first time last June on the back of their series success in Australia. They have won 17 of their last 18 Test matches since March 2017, residing in the world’s top four and gaining 7.99 rating points during that time.

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Meanwhile, Ireland’s final opponents in the GUINNESS Series, the USA, come to Dublin with plenty of confidence after an emphatic 31-5 win over Romania in Bucharest. It lifted them to their highest ever ranking of 13th and continues a tremendous year for the Eagles who have won all nine of their Tests so far in 2018.

The reward for winning by such a big margin was 1.34 rating points and, with an overall total of 73.66 points, the USA are now above both Georgia and Conor O’Shea’s Italy side, even though the Lelos also won over the weekend.

Like the USA, third-placed Wales are on a roll. A record ten-try 74-24 victory over Tonga in Cardiff sets up the prospect of a historic November clean sweep and extended the team’s winning run to eight matches – their best for 12 years.

The Welsh did not get any reward from a rankings perspective for beating lower-ranked opponents and the same is true of England, who were in danger of losing to Japan until pulling away in the final quarter to win 35-15 at Twickenham.

Australia’s 26-7 triumph over Italy in Padova has seen the Wallabies move up to sixth spot, above Scotland, who suffered a 26-20 home defeat to South Africa. The Springboks remain fifth in the rankings but are now just 0.42 of a point behind England.

In Lille, Teddy Thomas’ two tries helped France to a 28-13 success against Argentina with both sides remaining unmoved in the rankings, in eighth and ninth place respectively. Eroni Sau scored a hat-trick of tries on debut as Fiji bounced back from their heavy defeat to Scotland with a 68-7 win over Uruguay, their Pool D opponents at next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Fiji and Uruguay’s rankings were unaffected by the result, while Romania’s defeat to the US saw them drop a place, like Italy and Georgia, with Samoa the team to profit despite their 27-19 loss to the Georgians – a match that got away from them despite leading with 13 minutes remaining.

WORLD RUGBY RANKINGS (as of Monday, November 19):

Last week’s positions in brackets –

1(1) New Zealand 92.54 rating points
2(2) IRELAND 91.17
3(3) Wales 86.70
4(4) England 85.54
5(5) South Africa 85.12
6(7) Australia 83.08
7(6) Scotland 81.57
8(8) France 78.88
9(9) Argentina 77.32
10(10) Fiji 76.40
11(11) Japan 75.24
12(12) Tonga 73.84
13(15) USA 73.66
14(13) Italy 72.75
15(14) Georgia 7.60