Fijiana provide double cause for celebration

Fijiana provide double cause for celebration. Picture: WORLD RUGBY

SUVA, 27 NOVEMBER 2018 (WORLD RUGBY) – Fijiana and Tonga, both victorious in the final round of the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship on Saturday, are set to be the biggest climbers when the Women’s World Rugby Rankings are officially updated at 12 noon on Monday.

On the same day that the senior men’s team beat France, Fijiana were far too strong for a higher-ranked Samoan team on home soil in Lautoka. Fijiana’s 43-10 title-clinching win coupled with a 96-0 victory over Papua New Guinea earlier in the week will catapult them up six places to 24th on the back of a 3.26-point gain.

The loss of the same amount of points for Samoa will cost them 12th place in the rankings with South Africa the beneficiaries despite their 35-10 loss to Italy.

Tonga, meanwhile, will gain 1.44 points and four places over the course of the week. Beaten 68-7 by Samoa five days earlier, Tonga bounced back on Saturday to register their first test win, coming from behind to beat Papua New Guinea 62-26. The Palais face a drop of three places to 45th with Botswana, Luxembourg and Brazil the sides to benefit.

With wins for the higher-ranked teams in the remaining three women’s internationals that took place over the weekend, there will be no change elsewhere in the rankings.

At Twickenham, the world’s number two team England overcame an Ireland side ranked eight places below them, a second-half hat-trick from Lydia Thompson helping them to a 37-15 win.

Fourth place will still belong to Canada who scored three tries in the final quarter to finally see off Wales 38-21 in Cardiff.

The final international of the weekend came in Prato where hosts Italy, ranked seventh, lived up to their higher status with a 35-10 victory over the Springbok Women.

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