Welsh nearly men drop out of top five

Mon, 02 Dec 2013 15:58
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Wales dropped out of the top five on the IRB World Rankings following their 26-30 loss to the Wallabies in Cardiff on Saturday.

With only three international fixtures over the weekend, the focus was on the pulsating encounter between Wales and the touring Australians at Millennium Stadium.

Wales’ ninth successive defeat by the Wallabies means their ranking points total falls 0.79, allowing France, despite having completed their fixtures for the year, to go fifth thanks to an unchanged points total.

Wales began the November series in sixth, so while recent results were a missed chance to climb the rankings, they were also an opportunity to consolidate.

Their two wins - against Argentina and Tonga - and two defeats - against South Africa and Australia - largely echoed recent form.

For Australia, the last match of their end-of-year tour was a fitting finale to a tour in which the Wallabies got better as they went on.

After sustaining defeat by England in their first match of the tour, the Wallabies have steadily reasserted themselves to finish the trip on a high note.

Beginning the November internationals fourth in the world, the Wallabies lost ground on England after that Cook Cup result.

But as the tourists gained momentum with wins over Italy, Ireland and Scotland, they reclaimed their world No.3 spot from England, where they finish the year behind fellow southern hemisphere heavyweights New Zealand and South Africa.

The two other international fixtures of the weekend do not affect the IRB World Rankings: Fiji’s 19-43 loss against the Barbarians (because the latter are an invitational side) and the 22-8 win for Cyprus over Austria in European Nations Cup Division 2C (because Cyprus are not full an IRB member union).

IRB World Rankings - Top 20:
(Last week's position in brackets)
1(1) New Zealand 93.81
2(2) South Africa 89.34
3(3) Australia 86.09
4(4) England 85.70
5(6) France 80.87
6(5) Wales 80.19
7(7) Ireland 79.33
8(8) Samoa 77.34
9(9) Scotland 76.56
10(10) Argentina 76.44
11(11) Fiji 74.21
12(12) Tonga 73.21
13(13) Italy 73.13
14(14) Japan 72.06
15(15) Canada 70.75
16(16) Georgia 69.07
17(17) Romania 67.47
18(18) USA 67.41
19(19) Russia 61.14
20(20) Uruguay 60.77