Boks go on the charge

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 12:40

WORLD RANKINGS UPDATE: The Springboks have started the long climb back towards the top of the table.

South Africa climb two places to fifth in the rankings, after ending a four-Test losing streak with a 37-14 win over France at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, at the weekend.

The new-look Springboks, who named four debutants in their starting line-up, outscored the visitors by four tries to two to take the first game of a three-Test series.

Jesse Kriel, debutant Ross Cronje and Jan Serfontein crossed the line for Allister Coetzee's side, while they were also awarded a penalty try.

Flyhalf Elton Jantjies produced a flawless kicking performance to finish with a 13-point haul.

France's tries were scored either side of half-time by Henry Chavancy and Baptiste Serin.

Having picked up just over one rating point for their first win in eight months, South Africa move on to 82.87 points, taking them above Scotland and France.

France, who get the chance for revenge in Durban next week, lost an identical amount of points under the points exchange system to drop to eighth with Wales moving up one place to seventh as a result.

England, who came from 31-34 down to score a late 38-34 win over Argentina, are now on 89.87 rating points in the rankings, just under five points behind top-ranked New Zealand.

Argentina stay ninth, on 79.58 points.

Australia, ranked number three in the world, saw off Fiji 37-14 - a win that did not come with any rating point reward, due to there being nearly 10 points between the sides before the match.

Ireland's rating and position of fourth is also unchanged after a 55-19 win over 17th ranked United States in New Jersey.

Gregor Townsend enjoyed a winning start to life as Scotland head coach, but their impressive 34-13 win over Italy in Singapore, which featured two tries for veteran hooker Ross Ford, did not affect their rating due to the 11-point differential between the nations.

With 2015 World Cup veterans Michael Leitch and Fumiaki Tanaka showing all their experience, the Brave Blossoms overcame Romania 33-21 in Kumamoto.

Jamie Joseph's side boosted their rating by three-tenths of a point, but stay in 11th place in the rankings, ahead of Georgia, who defeated Canada 13-0 in terrible conditions in Calgary.

Russia were also victorious in the Americas, claiming a thrilling 39-38 victory over Argentina XV in Montevideo in the opening round of the Nations Cup. While the win did not carry any rating points given it was not a Test match, the Bears benefited from Namibia's narrow 13-15 loss to Spain in the same event, to move above the Welwitschias and into 19th place.