Zimbabwe surge to 27th in World Rugby rankings after win over Netherlands

29 Jun, 2022 - 09:06 0 Views
Zimbabwe surge to 27th in World Rugby rankings after win over Netherlands

The Sunday News

Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE will head into the crucial Rugby Africa 2022 encounter with the Ivory Coast on Friday 1 July full of confidence after surging up to 27th in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings.

The Hilton Mudariki led Sables’ 30-7 win against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Saturday came with a reward of 2.62 points, taking their overall rating to 54.44 points and moving them up to 27th in the rankings. The Dutch drop two places to 28th.

Zimbabwe Sables captain Hilton Mudariki

In gaining seven places, Zimbabwe are now at their highest position since they were 26th back in November 2015 and 15 places better off than their Rugby Africa Cup 2022 quarter-final opponents.

The match against the Netherlands was Zimbabwe’s first in Europe since 2014 and they outscored their hosts four tries to one.

Takudzwa Chieza and Matthew McNab got on the scoresheet as the Sables established a 15-0 lead before the Dutch replied through Liam Stone.

Debutant full-back Takudzwa Musingwini and replacement hooker Liam Larkan then rounded out the impressive win which sees the Sables overtake the Netherlands in the rankings.

Zimbabwe faces Ivory Coast in a Rugby Africa Cup quarterfinal encounter at the Stade Delort, Marseille, France. Should the Sables win that match, their most likely opponents in the semifinals on 6 July will be Namibia who takes on Burkina Faso in the last eight.

Zimbabwe in action against Netherlands

The winner of the Rugby Africa Cup final on 10 July will book an automatic slot to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France while the runner-up still has an opportunity to make it to the global showpiece via a playoff.

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