Sweden registered their fourth highest win in test history in beating Moldova 80-6 in Rugby Europe’s Conference 1 North on Saturday.
Relishing the good conditions in Norrkoping, the home side ran in 12 tries, with centre Tom Milner and flanker Sami Paulsson helping themselves to doubles, to get their campaign off to a flying start.
The win brought their three-game losing run against Moldova to an end and came with the added bonus of one-and-a-half rating points.
As a result, Sweden climb seven places to 49th in the rankings and are now only one place and three-hundredths of a point behind their beaten opponents.
Croatia go two from two
In Conference 1 South, Croatia bagged a bonus-point win for the second consecutive weekend to sit top of the embryonic table.
Having beaten Bosnia and Herzegovina with some ease seven days earlier, Croatia had to dig deep to get the better of Cyprus in the Split sunshine.
Despite racing into a 17-0 lead inside the first quarter, Croatia found themselves trailing by 24-17 with just over half an hour to play. However, a three-try blitz in a 15-minute spell turned the tide in the home side’s favour and they went on to win 46-24.
Croatia did not gain any rating points for the win, as Cyprus are not full members of World Rugby.
Malta move up
The other match in Conference 1 South did count towards the rankings, though, with Malta just about withstanding a spirited fightback from hosts Israel to win 21-14.
The seven-tenths of a point on offer for the win was enough for Malta to replace Zimbabwe in 39th place in the rankings.
Latvia move up one place to 58th after a 24-7 win against Finland in Conference 2 North, while Slovenia kicked off their Conference 2 South campaign with a 48-14 victory against Andorra. With 1.23 points gained, Slovenia climb six places to 70th.
Elsewhere, unranked Algeria have won promotion to Rugby Africa’s Gold Cup for next season after a shock 31-0 win over hosts Zambia in the final of the second-tier Silver Cup.
Algeria, who are not yet members of World Rugby, will now be rubbing shoulders with Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Tunisia and Zimbabwe in next year's edition of the elite competition after taking the place of relegated Morocco.
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