England produced a sizzling performance on a red-hot day in London to rack up their biggest win over Ireland and raise expectation levels ahead of Rugby World Cup 2019.
In terms of preparing for the game's showpiece tournament in Japan, Ireland were one match behind England and it showed as Eddie Jones' men ran in eight tries, seven of them converted, to win 57-15 at Twickenham.
With the pack dominant and able to take advantage of Ireland's misfiring lineout, England's backs had plenty of quality possession to work with and they seized on the chance to cut loose, Manu Tuilagi capping a man-of-the-match display with one of their tries.
Joe Cokanasiga pocketed a brace and Elliot Daly also got his name on the scoresheet with England's other tries coming from hard-working Saracens second-rows Maro Itoje and George Kruis, and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie with what is becoming a customary steal at the back of the lineout.
Ireland scored first in the match after nine minutes through Jordan Larmour but they had to wait until the 73rd minute to cross England's line again, Bundee Aki's neat finish down the right touchline providing one of the few positives on an otherwise forgettable afternoon.
Having secured a winning margin of over 15 points, England now trade places with Ireland in the World Rugby Men's Rankings and move into third with the gap between themselves and top-ranked Wales only 1.30 points.
Tries from Sean Maitland and Chris Harris and seven points from the boot of captain Greig Laidlaw saw Scotland to a 17-14 win over France for whom World Rugby U20 Championship graduate Damian Penaud scored both of their tries.
In gaining revenge for their 32-3 defeat in Nice seven days earlier, Scotland replace France in seventh place in the rankings with the sides swapping places once again.
Zimbabwe's imperious form continued on Saturday with a 32-26 win over Uganda. The Sables' fourth straight victory in the four-nation Victoria Cup cements their place at the top of the standings and also sees them climb up a place in the rankings to 32nd.
Zimbabwe scored four tries through forwards Blithe Mavesere, Keith Murray, Godfrey Muzanargwo and Matthew Mandioma and captain Hilton Mudariki kicked two conversions and a penalty, while fly-half Dudlee White-Sharpley also chipped in with five points from a penalty and a conversion.
But the prolific kicking of talented full-back Philip Wokorach, who contributed 16 points from four penalties and two conversions to add to two tries from centre Michael Wokorach and flanker Byron Oketayot, meant the result was in doubt right up until the final whistle.
Uganda drop below the Ivory Coast, while Kenya also find themselves down one as a result of Zimbabwe gaining just under a third of a rating point in victory. Other than staying in contention for the Victoria Cup, Kenya did not get any reward for their 31-16 win over the much lower-ranked Zambia.
Mexico reach historic high
Completing a busy weekend of international rugby around the globe, the Americas Rugby Challenge kicked off in the Colombian capital of Medellin with wins for the host nation and Mexico.
In what was the first meeting between the sides at this level, Colombia proved too strong for the Cayman Islands and ran out 83-6 winners.
Juan Dávila, Alejandro Navarro, Arley Urrutia and Alejandro Vanegas all scored a brace of tries apiece in an 11-try win in which full-back José Manuel Diosa kicked 16 points.
Outscoring their opponents four tries to two, Mexico achieved a landmark 35-27 win against a Paraguay side that started the match ranked seven places higher than them. Winger Fharid Samano grabbed a double, replacement Jorge Cortés Horta scored another and Mexico were also awarded a penalty try.
The win lifts Mexico to an all-time high of 44th in the rankings with Paraguay dropping to their lowest position of 50th.
The first round of the Oceania Rugby Cup took place on Friday at the PNG Football Stadium in Port Moresby. Niue celebrated their return to the international arena after an eight-year hiatus with a hard-fought 19-17 win over the Solomon Islands, while Nauru's test debut ended in an 89-5 defeat to the host nation.
Neither result affected the positions of the respective teams in the rankings.
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