INTERNATIONAL

Zimbabwe Sables climb seven places up on World Rankings ahead of RWC qualifiers

Zimbabwe will go into their crunch Rugby Africa 2022 encounter with the Ivory Coast on Friday 1 July full of confidence after surging up the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini.

The Sables’ 30-7 win against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Saturday came with a reward of 2.62 points, taking their overall rating to 54.44 points and moving them up to 27th in the rankings. The Dutch drop two places to 28th.

In gaining seven places, Zimbabwe are now at their highest position since they were 26th back in November 2015 and 15 places better off than their Rugby Africa Cup 2022 quarter-final opponents.

The match against the Netherlands was Zimbabwe’s first in Europe since 2014 and they outscored their hosts four tries to one.

Takudzwa Chieza and Matthew McNab got on the scoresheet as the Sables established a 15-0 lead before the Dutch replied through Liam Stone.

Debutant full-back Takudzwa Musingwini and Liam Larkin then rounded out the impressive win which sees the Sables overtake the Netherlands in the rankings.

Meanwhile, Italy were given a real scare by Portugal in Lisbon but pulled through to win 38-31.

The victory improved their rating to 72.97, closing the gap on Samoa above them to just 0.62 of a point. Italy remain in 14th position, six places higher than Portugal.

Japan’s 43-7 win in the second test against Uruguay in Kitakyushu did not affect the rankings due to the large points differential between the teams. The Brave Blossoms remain in 10th place with Uruguay 19th.

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