Wales and France are the only movers in the top 10 of the latest IRB World Rankings, climbing one place to sixth despite losing 29-9 to New Zealand with France falling to seventh on the back of their loss to Australia on Saturday.
The IRB reports that although the All Blacks defended their 55-year unbeaten record against the Welsh with victory at the Millennium Stadium, they only improved their rating points by two hundredths to remain on top of the rankings with Wales’ total slipping to 79.55.
France’s 18-13 loss to the third ranked Wallabies at the Stade de France on Saturday evening was more costly, resulting in a 0.64 decrease in their rating points to 79.49 and dropping them below Wales into seventh.
The position of sixth or seventh will make no difference to France when it comes to the Rugby World Cup 2011 Pool Allocation Draw on 1 December as the sides ranked fourth to seventh will be seeded in band two and drawn randomly into the pools.
There could have been one other change involving Argentina and England and the race to secure fourth place and so join alongside New Zealand, South Africa and Australia in band one and avoid being drawn in the same pool as these heavyweights.
Argentina and England both suffered defeats on Saturday, the Pumas losing 17-3 to Ireland at Croke Park while Martin Johnson’s side suffered a record 42-6 defeat by South Africa at Twickenham in a repeat of the RWC 2007 final.
The defeats mean that both sides saw their rating points fall but had Ronan O’Gara converted Tommy Bowe’s late try to push Ireland out to a victory of more than 15 points then Argentina would have still slipped beneath England into fifth.
England will have another opportunity to sneak into fourth when they face New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday, a match which will see the All Blacks trying to complete their grand slam tour having already beaten Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
Ireland, who would have slipped out of the top eight had they lost to the Pumas, have improved their rating points, but still sit just over a point behind France above them with Scotland, the 41-0 conquerors of Canada this weekend, remaining ninth.Tweet