All Blacks mark four years at the top

2013-11-19 00:00

CAPE TOWN — New Zealand marked four years at the summit of the IRB world rankings on Saturday by consolidating their top spot with a 30-22 win over England.

According to the IRB website, the All Blacks have occupied the No 1 spot since November 16, 2009, and for more than 80% of the time since the rankings were introduced in October 2003, and the Twickenham success means they now boast 93,81 ranking points.

This means a slight increase in their cushion over South Africa — pushing it beyond five rating points — after the Springboks ran out 28-0 winners over Scotland on Sunday. This latest win increases South Africa’s advantage over England in third to more than three points.

England have now finished their November internationals and are in danger of losing that third position, sitting as they do just five hundredths above Australia, who have two matches remaining after beating Ireland 32-15 in Dublin.

Defeat means the men in Irish green slide from sixth to seventh, swopping places with Wales, who beat Argentina 40-6 at the Millennium Stadium to record their first November international victory in four years.

Otherwise the top 10 is unchanged, with the Pumas holding their position of 10th despite the Cardiff defeat. France’s 38-18 win over Tonga in Le Havre has no bearing on either side’s rating as a result of the eight places and more than eight rating points separating the two teams. However, Tonga do climb one place to 12th as a result of Fiji’s 37-31 defeat in Italy.

Romania are steadily inching up the rankings after beating Canada 21-20 with practically the last kick of the game — as they had done against Tonga a week before.

Top 10 in the latest IRB world rankings

1. New Zealand 93,81

2. South Africa 88,77

3, England 85,70

4. Australia 85,65

5. France 81,44

6. Wales 80,98

7. Ireland 79,33

8. Samoa 79,24

9. Scotland 76,99

10. Argentina 75,23

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