Malaysia have moved to within one place and just two-tenths of a point of Sri Lanka in the World Rugby Rankings following a 31-26 win against the Tuskers in Kuala Lumpur.
Worth nine-tenths of a point, the victory lifts Malaysia above Croatia, Sweden and Morocco and into a historic high of 45th place with Sri Lanka dropping one to 44th. Cote D'Ivoire replace them in 43rd.
Silverware for Pakistan
Silverware was on the line in the Asian region this weekend with Pakistan taking the Division III C title despite losing the second leg of their series against Uzbekistan, 38-24. Having won the first match 44-13, an aggregate score of 68-51 saw them win the competition and gain promotion to Division II in 2020.
Trailing 31-7 at half-time, Pakistan were in danger of losing out on both counts but second-half tries from Faisal Aslam, Muhammad Ali Khan and captain Kashif Khawaja saw them home.
Khawaja was proud of his players despite the defeat. “With such a big defeat in the first half our heads could have dropped and then we could have thrown away such a strong lead from the first match,” he said.
“But we were spirited and we knew what was at stake. Despite losing to a very good Uzbekistan side today, we are pleased to have won promotion and look forward to taking part in the Rugby World Cup qualifiers next year.”
Latvia's prop idol
In Europe, loose-head prop Guntis Cirša was the unlikely hero with a hat-trick of tries as Latvia comfortably beat Denmark 38-3 to take the Conference 2 North crown with a match to spare. However, the victory did not come with any ranking reward as Latvia are ranked 20 places higher than the Danes in 58th place.
In the only other match to affect the rankings, Luxembourg came back from a 12-3 half-time deficit to beat Hungary 15-13. Tries from hooker Quentin Dee and centre Joshua van Zeeland and the boot of Maxime Dozin ensured they finished their Conference 1 North campaign on a winning note.
Luxembourg climb four places to 59th as a result of the win, while Hungary drop down to 68th.
Photo credit: Azley Kassim / Tiger Super Sports