Building on the sevens team’s superb achievement in qualifying for the Hong Kong Sevens and Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018, Jamaica's 15s players have climbed to the best-ever position in the World Rugby Rankings of 64th.
A 60-14 win over hosts Barbados in the Rugby Americas North Cup was enough to lift them three places above Botswana, Papua New Guinea and Chinese Taipei.
Game 2 of 2018 #RAN15s is in the books! First half was close but speed from the @Jamaica_Rugby backline overtook Barbados to claim the win in the first of two matchups between these Cup teams. More: https://t.co/7ZwGLj7WzC pic.twitter.com/jTYkx5PY1k— RugbyAmericasNorth (@RugbyAmericasN) April 28, 2018
After a tight first half in which they led 15-14 thanks to a brace of tries from captain Oshane Edie, the Reggae Crocs showed a ruthless streak in the second half to capitalise on the numerous Bajan handling errors and reach 60 points for the first time in test rugby.
Barbados, who fall four places to 83rd, get the chance to put things right when they visit Jamaica for the return match on 12 May.
Big gains for Hungary
Six matches took place in Rugby Europe’s Conference system over the weekend and the most significant from a rankings perspective came in Lviv where Hungary held hosts Ukraine to a 19-19 draw in 1 North.
The rating point gained takes Hungary to 38.75 points and up to 68th place with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Andorra, UAE and Guam all losing ground as a result.
It could have been so much better for Hungary though had they not let a 19-0 lead slip with only 15 minutes to go, winger Oleg Kosariev saving the day for the home side by converting his own try in the last minute. Ukraine slip four places to 42nd.
In the same division, champions Lithuania completed a clean sweep of victories after seeing off Sweden, 43-22. With 25 places and nearly eight points between the sides, the victory was not accompanied by any ranking reward.
The only game of the day in Conference 1 South ended with a 27-6 victory for Croatia over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Croatia gained 12-hundredths of a point in victory but remain behind the Cook Islands in 54th place.
Danes in a different century
Denmark racked up their highest-ever score and the 15th highest in the history of test rugby in defeating Estonia 125-7 in Conference 2 North.
Final score 🇩🇰 127-5 🇪🇪. Estonia were on the back foot from the beginning, but respect that they kept trying to play despite the score.— Dansk Rugby Union (@RugbyDenmark) April 28, 2018
Right winger Cassius Deschamps weighed in with an incredible 42 points after converting both his tries and 14 others. Number eight Mads Hansen claimed a hat-trick and centre Andreas Robertson bagged a brace in the 19-try victory.
Deschamps’ tally puts him joint ninth on the all-time list for most individual points in a match alongside Australia’s Mat Rogers.
Sadly, from the Danes’ point of view, the thumping win was not worth any rating points given the large points differential between the sides at kick-off. Denmark do, however, move up a place to 82nd courtesy of Barbados’ heavy home defeat.
Home wins for Serbia and Luxembourg over Cyprus and Norway respectively did not result in any changes to their positions.
Meanwhile, Korea enjoyed a one-place rise to 30th as a reward for their 35-10 win away to Malaysia in the Asia Rugby Championship/RWC 2019 qualifier.
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