Rugby World Cup 2023 Review: Wales first to book quarter-final slot
Warren Gatland’s side leave Eddie Jones’s Wallabies staring at a first-ever pool phase exit
Wales have become the first team to book their place in the quarter-finals of Rugby World Cup 2023 following a record 40-6 win over Australia at the OL Stadium in Lyon.
Dan Biggar’s injury replacement, fly-half Gareth Anscombe, scored 23 points and was named Mastercard Player of the Match as Wales romped to their biggest-ever win over the Wallabies.
For Australia, the result means they could fail to qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time in Rugby World Cup history while also dropping them to their lowest-ever position of 10th in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini.
With Argentina picking up 1.72 points for their scrappy 19-10 win over Samoa and Australia losing two-and-a-half points in defeat, the teams have swapped places with Los Pumas up to ninth and the Wallabies down to 10th. Australia had previously never been lower than ninth.
At the top of the rankings, Ireland have increased their rating by 3.20 points, with France now their nearest challengers, following their 13-8 win over South Africa in a seismic Pool B fixture at Stade de France.
While France did not pick up any points for their 96-0 win over Namibia – their biggest-ever win and highest score in test rugby – because their rating was 30.06 points higher – they have taken second place from a beaten South Africa.
South Africa lost 1.97 points and their new rating of 89.70 points leaves them 0.89 points behind Les Bleus (90.59) and 4.09 points adrift of Ireland (93.79).
Italy kicked off the third round of matches on Wednesday with a 38-17 win over Uruguay, and that result combined with Samoa’s defeat has seen the sides swap places with the Azzurri now the higher ranked of the two teams in 11th.
It is a similar story with Japan and Georgia with the Lelos’ 18-18 draw with Portugal costing them sufficient points for them to cede 13th place to the Brave Blossoms.
A missed penalty in the last seconds of the match by Nuno Sousa Guedes denied Portugal their maiden Rugby World Cup win, and also a new high in the rankings.
Meanwhile, Scotland and England are both unmoved, in fifth and sixth respectively, after their bonus-point wins over Tonga and Chile.