Samoa’s qualification for Rugby World Cup 2019 as the Play-Off Winner has come with an added bonus – they are back up to 16th in the latest World Rugby Rankings.
The Pacific Islanders followed up their 66-15 win in the first leg of their Oceania/Europe play-off match against Germanywith a 42-28 victory in the return match in Heidelberg. And while the come-from-behind victory was worth only four-hundredths of a rating point, it was still enough to take Samoa above Romania in the rankings.
Having clinched their place in Pool A with the 114-43 aggregate victory, Samoa can now look forward to matches against hosts Japan, Scotland, Ireland and Russia at RWC 2019, while Germany are left with one more chance to qualify via the four-team global repechage in Marseille in November.
Meanwhile, the Rugby Africa Silver Cup finalists are now known after the group stages of the region’s second-tier competition were completed over the weekend.
Algeria finished top of the northern group with two wins from two, having recorded narrow victories over Senegal (22-18) and the Ivory Coast (23-13), while Zambia came out top in the south following wins over Botswana (32-13) and Madagascar (31-29).
The two nations will meet on 25 August to decide who wins the title and promotion to the Gold Cup for 2019.
Zambia have leapt an incredible 12 places in the rankings over the course of the six-day tournament to 66th. Algeria do not have a ranking as they are not a full member of World Rugby.
Madagascar’s defeat to the lower-ranked Zambia has cost them five places with Trinidad and Tobago, the Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe benefitting from of their fall to 50th place. Botswana slip one to 74th.
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