WXV 2 and WXV 3 came to a dramatic conclusion at the weekend with Scotland and Ireland taking their respective titles by the narrowest of margins, while there was a shock in WXV 1 as Australia defeated France.
Scotland edged out Italy, on points difference, after both teams secured a perfect 15 points from their three matches, while Ireland came from behind to beat Spain 15-13 in the WXV 3 title decider.
In WXV 1, there were big wins for England and New Zealand against lower-ranked opposition in Canada and Wales, while Australia beat France for the first time in 13 years.
None of the results in WXV 1 affected the respective teams’ positions in the World Rugby Women's Rankings powered by Capgemini, although in picking up five-hundredths of a point for their 45-12 win in a repeat of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 final, England increased their advantage over New Zealand at the top to 2.46 points.
The Red Roses are now on 94.60 points, while New Zealand remain on 92.14 as the Black Ferns’ 70-7 victory over Wales did not come with any reward due to their being nearly 15 rating points between them.
France’s 29-20 defeat to Australia cost them two rating points but they are still comfortably in third, some 4.53 points better off than Canada immediately below them.
Canada hold a similar advantage over Australia despite the Wallaroos’ tremendous victory over a side who had beaten New Zealand the week before.
In gaining two points, fifth-placed Australia have an improved rating of 80.97 points – 3.67 more than the next best team Wales.
The gap between Wales and Italy in seventh is down to 1.69 points after the Azzurre’s 30-8 win over USA improved their rating by 1.37 points, while Scotland, who pipped them to the title, have moved above the Women’s Eagles and into a new high of eighth position. The Women’s Eagles now find themselves at a record all-time low of ninth.
Scotland on a roll
In equalling their best-ever run of six straight wins with a 38-7 victory against Japan, Scotland picked up 1.07 points.
The 0.43 points Ireland gained in victory over Spain were not enough to lift them any higher and they remain in 10th place. But there were further changes lower down the rankings, involving the Pacific nations.
Samoa’s 33-7 defeat to hosts South Africa in WXV 2 has seen them replaced in 15th place by the Netherlands, while Fiji have climbed two places to 17th on the back of their 118-0 win over Kazakhstan.
While Fiji have climbed two places, Kazakhstan have dropped two, moving down to 20th, below Sweden, after suffering their second three-figure defeat of the campaign.
Sticking with WXV 3, Kenya stay in 23rd despite boosting their rating by 1.23 points to 48.64 following their hard-fought 21-5 win over a Colombian side that has slipped three places to 28th with Portugal, Belgium and Madagascar all benefitting from Las Tucanes’ third straight defeat of the competition.