Hong Kong have jumped three places in the World Rugby Men's Rankings to 21st, matching their previous best position, after winning 36-17 away to Belgium on Saturday, while there were wins for Portugal, Switzerland and Moldova in the other matches that counted towards the rankings.

Hong Kong's victory, their fifth in a row, was worth 1.61 points and takes them above Portugal, despite Os Lobos' dramatic 23-18 win against Chile in Santiago, as well as Namibia and Canada. Next week they take on Spain in Madrid.


Beginning their European tour with a clear statement of intent, Hong Kong raced into a 29-0 lead by half-time before a second-half fightback by the home side gave the crowd inside the Stade Nelson Mandela something to cheer about.

After an early penalty from Gregor McNeish on debut, Hong Kong stung the home side with a four-try blitz in a devastating 10-minute spell. Captain Liam Slatem struck first, followed by McNeish, centre Ben Axten-Burrett and winger Harry Sayers.

The hosts regrouped admirably in the second half, and – helped by two Hong Kong yellow cards – scored three tries to claw back 17 points on the board. However, Hong Kong had the final say when Sayers scored his second.

Belgium's defeat saw them drop to 28th place in the rankings, below Germany.

Thriller in Santiago

Arriving at the Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo on the back of a narrow loss to Brazil, Portugal looked set to come out on the wrong side of the scoreboard once again in their match against Chile. However, a 65-metre intercept try from number eight Manuel Picão decided a thrilling contest in their favour.

Dany Antunes kicked his second conversion of the match after tagging on the extras to Portugal's first try, scored by João Belo in the 63rd minute, as well as sending three penalties through the poles.

Chile, who led 8-3 at half-time and then 15-6 with half an hour to go, scored tries through Augusto Böhme and Julio Blanc, while the rest of their points came from the boot of fly-half Santiago Videla.

Switzerland's 40-9 win over Lithuania in the Rugby Europe Trophy combined with Chile's defeat saw the Swiss replace Los Condores in 29th place in the rankings.

Moldova beat Austria 49-12 in the only other match to be played in the Rugby Europe International Championship but the outcome of the Conference 2 North encounter had no impact on the rankings due to the large points differential between the sides.