France denied retiring New Zealand pair Fiao'o Fa'amausili and Linda Itunu a fairytale ending to their illustrious careers with a superb 30-27 win over the Black Ferns in front of 17,102 fans at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble.
The Women’s Six Nations Grand Slam winners, who had lost all five of their previous meetings with the Black Ferns, including a 14-0 shutout in last week’s first test, punished the world champions for an ill-disciplined performance which saw them concede two yellow cards.
Caroline Drouin scored one of her side’s tries and kicked an additional 10 points in a win that boosted their rating by 1.54 points to 89.45 overall. However, France remain in third place in the rankings behind leaders New Zealand and England.
After seeing their unbeaten 17-month run come to an end, the Black Ferns’ lead at the top over England has been cut to 3.09 points.
The Red Roses gained just under two-tenths of a point for a hard-fought 27-19 win over Canada in Doncaster, Lark Davies scoring twice in the re-run of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 final.
After heavy defeats to the world’s top-two ranked sides, the USA rounded off their November schedule with a superb 19-10 win against Ireland.
With only six-tenths of a point gained, the US Women’s Eagles remain in fifth place with just over six rating points still between them and North American rivals Canada. Ireland, however, have lost two places in defeat to drop to 10th with Wales and Spain overtaking them.
The first of two 10-try displays by Welsh international teams came on Friday night as Rowland Phillips' women produced a ruthless display against Hong Kong. Jasmine Joyce, Lisa Neumann, Beth Lewis and captain Sioned Harries led the way in the 65-0 win with two tries apiece.
Meanwhile, Spain picked up just over a quarter of a rating point for their 17-5 win over South Africa. All three tries in the match came in the first half with Alba Vinuesa and Mayka Brust touching down for Spain either side of Vuyolwethu Maqholo’s score for South Africa.
Tonga’s 53-8 defeat to Fiji in the Oceania Women’s Rugby Championship saw them fall one place to 40th with Uzbekistan, Cayman Islands, Zimbabwe and Namibia the beneficiaries. Samoa beat Papua New Guinea 56-45 in the first match of the tournament but with a sizeable gap between the teams in the rankings, the victory did not come with any additional reward.
A first test win at the 10th attempt has resulted in Czechia picking up two full rating points, although they still prop up the rankings table after the 10-5 victory against Switzerland at Stade Municipal in Yverdon-les-Bains.
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