Australia stay third as four nations climb rankings

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Australia stay third as four nations climb rankings

Australia may have beaten New Zealand for the first time in over two years, but they remain third in the World Rugby Rankings behind the world champions and England.

The Wallabies ran out 23-18 winners in the final Bledisloe Cup match of 2017 in Brisbane on Saturday to improve their rating by 1.69 points, giving them a little breathing space over Ireland and South Africa below them going into a busy November.

Israel Folau (pictured) was among the Wallaby try scorers to take his tally for 2017 to 12, a new Australian record for a calendar year.

New Zealand’s advantage over England is now cut to 3.69 rating points ahead of a month which could see them mark eight consecutive years atop the World Rugby Rankings.

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While Australia’s win did not come with a positional gain, the weekend’s other four victorious teams have all climbed the rankings in Austria, Colombia, Israel and Latvia.

Colombia completed another successful defence of the South American B Championship crown with a comfortable 53-15 defeat of Venezuela in the title decider in Medellin on Saturday.

Los Tucanes scored nine tries to the delight of the home crowd, winger Enrique Garcia and captain Sebastien Mejia both scoring a brace, while centre Jose Manuel Diosa scored a try and converted four of the tries.

The win lifts Colombia one place to 41st – above Sri Lanka – to equal their highest ever ranking, while Venezuela remain 62nd after the loss.

The other three matches came in the Europe with Austria the biggest climbers of the week with a two-place rise to 83rd following their narrow 27-25 victory over Serbia in the first match of the Rugby Europe Conference 2 South 2018.

Tries by Alexander Radomirov, Benjamin Preclik and Lukas Dobner mean that Austria are now ranked only one place below Serbia, who dropped four places as a result of the loss in Vienna.

Another close battle in Conference 1 South saw Israel edge their hosts Andorra 27-22, scrum-half Eitan Humphreys scoring their bonus point try late on to secure the win and a one-place gain in the rankings. Israel climb above the Philippines into 58th, while the defeat see Andorra drop three places to 68th.

The home side also lost in the weekend’s other match with Hungary slipping to a 12-6 defeat against Latvia in their Conference 1 North match in Esztergom. Full-back Roberts Davidsons kicked four penalties in the win that lifts Latvia one place to 49th and condemns Hungary to a two-place fall to 73rd.