Rugby World Cup 2019 qualifiers took place on three continents over the weekend but only one of the four matches resulted in positional changes to the World Rugby Rankings in Uganda's 17-16 win over Senegal in the Rugby Africa Gold Cup.

Uganda's victory over their hosts in Dakar sees them climb two places to 38th and also move to the top of the Gold Cup standings after two rounds with six points, one more than Namibia and Zimbabwe. Senegal fall six places to 51st on the back of the defeat.


Namibia began their RWC 2019 qualification campaign with a more convincing 53-7 win over Tunisia in Monastir, but the result did not affect their rating given the 28 places and more than 13 points separating the two African nations. Tunisia do climb one place to 48th, but as a result of Senegal's loss.

The weekend's other qualifiers saw Tonga keep their hopes of claiming the Oceania 1 or Oceania 2 berths in Japan with a 30-26 defeat of Samoa in the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup 2017 opener, but the six-tenths gain still leaves them just under a rating point behind 12th ranked Georgia. Samoa remain 15th but now a mere eighth hundredths above Romania.


USA confirmed their place in Pool C as the Americas 1 qualifier with an emphatic 52-16 victory over neighbours Canada, but the win in San Diego was only worth just over a tenth to leave them 16th and Canada in their lowest ever position of 23rd. 


Uganda had drawn their opening match 33-33 with Kenya last weekend and were again on the road to face Senegal at the Stade Iba Mar Doip. 

The hosts opened the scoring with an early penalty by centre Aldric Folliot, but this was quickly cancelled out by full-back Philip Wokorach and a good line back by the Rugby Cranes then created the first try for second-row Charles Uhuru to make it 10-3.

Folliot added another penalty and then winger Moussa Barry cut through the Ugandan backline in the 23rd minute to regain the lead. Uganda, though, would go in leading 17-13 at half-time after hooker Alex Mubiru went over.

Wokorach missed an opportunity to extend Uganda's lead in the 48th minute and the deficit instead became one point when Folliot kicked his third penalty just minutes later in what would prove to be the final score of a match.

Defending champions Namibia had captain Rohan Kitshoff to thank for setting them on their way to a dominant victory at the Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet, the flanker scoring a hat-trick of tries in the first 31 minutes to give his side a 17-0 lead over their hosts Tunisia.

Fly-half Ben Aicha Sofiene got Tunisia on the board with a try before half-time, but Namibia emerged for the second half with a desire to play at a higher tempo and were rewarded when winger Lesley Klim went over in the 49th minute for the bonus-point try. 

Eugene Jantjies added a penalty and Wian Conradie crossed for a fifth try to make it 34-7 with little more than 10 minutes to play. The number eight grabbed his second as the clock ticked down and two tries in the final couple of minutes, through replacements Helarins Kisting and David Philander, took Namibia through the half century.

The Rugby Africa Gold Cup continues this weekend when Tunisia travel to Kenya and Namibia host Senegal.