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Zimbabwe Sables rise in latest IRB rugby rankings

by Moyo Roy
17 Jul 2012 at 09:51hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Sables' recent performance in the Africa Cup and the tri-nations Victoria Cup have left many believing local rugby might just be emerging from the doldrums.

The Sables' performances resulted in the team climbing further in the IRB World Rankings to 29th after beating hosts Tunisia 30-14 and Uganda 22-18 to be crowned Africa Cup 2012 champions, climbing two places to 29th to enter the Top 30 for the first time since the rankings were introduced in October 2003.

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Three other nations enjoyed climbs after victories in the last week includes Thailand whose reward for beating India 42-29 in their HSBC Asian 5 Nations play-off on Saturday is not only promotion to Division I and keeping their RWC 2015 dream alive, but also a one-place climb to 59th in the latest IRB World Rankings.

Uganda, though, despite losing the final to Zimbabwe on Saturday are the biggest climbers of the week with a three-place elevation to 41st, the defeat offset by a 21-19 victory over higher ranked Kenya last Tuesday.

Kenya have also ended the Africa Cup Division 1A with a higher ranking than they began it despite losing to rivals Uganda, courtesy of a 31-24 victory over hosts Tunisia in the third place play-off to avoid relegation to Division 1B in 2013.

Tunisia are the biggest fallers of the last seven days, two defeats on home soil resulting in a nine-place slump to 43rd, the lowest position they have ever occupied in the IRB World Rankings.

The good news for Tunisia is that their dream of qualifying for a first Rugby World Cup is not over despite relegation, although they will have to win Division 1B in 2013 which will include Namibia to return to Division 1A for the 2014 tournament which will determine the Africa 1 qualifier.

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Source - Byo24Sports

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