Uganda and Tunisia have both made gains in the World Rugby Rankings following their victories in the final round of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup 2017, which took place in Kampala and Monastir over the weekend.
The North Africans (pictured above celebraing their win) came through a tough encounter with bottom-of-the-table Senegal in Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet, winning 26-18 to secure fourth position in the final table. In the process they have moved up five places in the rankings, overtaking Zimbabwe, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Morocco and Sri Lanka into 40th position.
Tries from Abdelmajid Zemzem and Chadi Jabri coupled with a classy 16-point kicking display from the ever-dependable Chamseddine Khalifa was enough to see the home team win, despite a spirited display from Senegal who scored two tries of their own thanks to Georges Mendy. Unfortunately for Senegal, this defeat consigns them to the relegation spot in the Gold Cup and they will therefore play Silver Cup next year with Morrocco being promoted to the top flight after their 2017 Silver Cup heroics.
Namibia had last week been crowned Gold Cup 2017 champions having gone through the entire six-week tournament unbeaten. Occupying 21st position, the Welwitschias are currently the second highest-ranked team from their region after South Africa.
For their part, Zimbabwe have dropped no fewer than six places to 46th spot after they lost 38-12 to Uganda in Kampala RC.
The Sables had started on a high with a try inside the first five minutes of the game from Royal Mwale but their lead did not last long. Justin Kimono broke the Zimbabwean line to set up Brian Asaba for Uganda’s first points before Philip Wokorach, Aaron Ofoyrwoth and man-of-the-match Lawrence Sebuliba all crossed the white line as the home side took a 26-12 lead at half time.
The second half was all Sebuliba as he twice more rounded the Zimbabwe defence to seal his hat-trick and, more importantly, victory for the Cranes. Fly-half Wokorach converted four of the six tries to cap an accomplished performance form him. As a result of this win, Uganda have moved up one place two 35th position at the expense of Moldova.
And they finish the Gold Cup 2017 in third spot, just behind Kenya who have a better points difference. Meanwhile, it was Zimbabwe’s third successive defeat and they finish in fifth place on six points, remaining safe for next year’s Gold Cup.
Elsewhere, Cook Islands suffered a shock defeat to Tahiti, who were ranked 43 places below them before the match, in an Oceania region Rugby World Cup 2019 qualifier, keeping the dream alive for the former French colony. The Cookies drop eight places to 56th in the rankings while Tahiti have gained three places to 88th.
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