Australia and Ireland both improved their rating points in the World Rugby Rankings thanks to wins over Wales and South Africa but not enough to climb any places.

The Wallabies’ 13th straight victory over Wales, this time 29-21, came with a reward of just under a fraction of a point, to move them on to 88.02 points. They remain in third place overall, just over two points behind England whose own position of second is unchanged following a scrappy 21-8 victory over Argentina at Twickenham. New Zealand stay top of the pile, on 93.83 points, after seeing off France 38-18 in Paris.

Ireland also scored 38 points but with only three in reply as they recorded their biggest win over South Africa by some distance at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Ireland’s 35-point winning margin more than doubled their previous best of 17 over South Africa, and was worth one full rating point. They are now on 86.39 points with the cushion between themselves and the Springboks over two points.


The biggest risers and fallers mainly came lower down the rankings although Italy move up one place, above Tonga, into 13th thanks to a 19-10 win over ninth-ranked Fiji.


Two-time defending Cup of Nations champions Russia jump from 20th to 18th after a last-minute penalty from fly-half Ramil Gaysin earned the Bears a nerve-racking 16-13 win over tournament hosts and last year’s runners-up, Hong Kong. The other Cup of Nations fixture ended in a 23-3 win for Chile against Kenya that lifts the South Americans up a place to 27th, with Kenya slipping two to 29th.

The Netherlands also leapfrog Kenya, and four other teams in Brazil, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Korea, after they began their Rugby Europe Trophy campaign with a convincing 59-7 win away to Moldova. Winger Siem Norman scored a hat-trick and full-back Liam McBride and centre Josh Gascoigne each bagged a brace in a win that came with a reward of 1.51 points.

Brazil are among the fallers after losing 45-12 to Germany in Leipzig, yellow cards at the start of each half hurting Os Tupis hard. Number eight Ayron Schramm dotted down twice as Germany raced into a 38-0 lead, before Brazil finally got on the board through Felipe Sancery. Andre de Arruda added another late on but only after hooker Dash Barber had scored the home side’s seventh try. Germany climb one place to 22nd with Canada benefitting from Hong Kong’s loss of points to move up to 23rd.


That was one positive for Canada to take from an otherwise disappointing weekend in which they conceded 50 points for the second match in a row. While the Maori All Blacks proved formidable opposition in their opening match of the November series, this time it was Georgia, specifically Ioseb 'Soso' Matiashvili, who showed no mercy in dishing out a 54-22 defeat.

Deputising for Georgia's most-capped player Merab Kvirikashvili at full-back, Matiashvili produced the outstanding individual display of the weekend, scoring a try in each half, the second a remarkable effort that was all about speed and determination. Matiashvili also landed four penalties and six conversions in a near flawless display of kicking for a personal tally of 34 points – the most by a Lelos player in a test match.

The Georgia-Canada result did not carry rating points due to the big differential between the sides before kick-off, and the same applied to another high-scoring game, Scotland’s thrill-a-minute 44-38 win over Samoa at Murrayfield. Scotland stay sixth and Samoa 16th.

Only one of the Rugby Europe International Championship 2018 matches carried rating points, Israel’s seven-try, 44-8 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in Conference 1 South earning them just over two tenths and a one-place rise to 58th, with the Philippines the side to suffer. 

Elsewhere, Cyprus fly-half Marcus Holden scored two tries and kicked six conversions as his side eased to a 42-5 home win over Austria in Conference 2 South, while full-back Gauthier Bares’ hat-trick helped Luxembourg to an emphatic 64-0 win against Estonia that puts them on top of the Conference 2 North table.