Japan biggest climbers of week in rankings
Japan are the biggest climbers of the week in the latest IRB World Rankings after overcoming Rugby World Cup 2011 opponents Tonga in the IRB Pacific Nations Cup in Suva, the 28-27 victory resulting in a two-place climb back to 13th.
The Brave Blossoms had slipped two places to 15th on the back of defeat to Samoa and Tonga’s surprise win over Fiji in the opening round of the Pacific Nations Cup last weekend, but a fifth straight win ensures John Kirwan’s men bounce straight back.
VIEW THE FULL RANKINGS >>
The defeat for Tonga, allied with Fiji’s 36-18 victory over defending champions Samoa, means they fall two places to 14th with Georgia falling one to 15th as a result of Japan’s win at the National Stadium in the Fijian capital of Suva.
Fiji’s emphatic victory over Samoa sees them climb one place to 12th, regaining some of the ground lost after a surprise opening loss to Tonga last weekend. Samoa have held on to 10th despite the loss, but less than a rating point now separates them from their conquerors.
The IRB Pacific Nations Cup 2011 will come to an exciting conclusion on Wednesday with all four teams still capable of winning the title and separated by just one point, Tonga still leading the way on six with Samoa, Fiji and Japan hot on their heels on five.
The weekend’s other match also resulted in a change in the IRB World Rankings with Kenya’s 27-10 win over Uganda in a Victoria Cup / Elgon Cup encounter lifting them one place to 37th at the expense of Lithuania. Uganda stay 45th but slip closer to Papua New Guinea below them.