England’s comfortable 45 – 7 victory over USA means they have improved their rankings score to get relatively closer to the current highest ranked side New Zealand.
This was possible due to a couple of factors; England were already the clear favourites to win the match, and since the 45 – 7 score line achieved a higher margin than the ranking score differences predicted going into the match.
The graph below shows England’s ranking progress since the tournament started. On September 22nd their victory over Tonga was also by a higher margin than expected and they added 0.2 to their ranking score.
The surprise defeat of Fiji by Uruguay shook up the rankings, and England were one of many teams to have their ranking effected and consequently lost 0.1 of their ranking score.
The comfortable win over USA however, rocketed England’s ranking score up by 0.4 and puts them in hot pursuit of New Zealand.
To maintain this rate of progress they need to continue to outperform – winning margins of victory against their remaining Pool C opponents Argentina and France.
The USA has been suffering a different fate during their World Cup campaign, with this result causing them to lose ranking score by 0.2 and to drop two places in the ranking table from 12th to 14th with Italy and Samoa deputising. The USA will need to perform better in their remaining Pool C matches if they are to improve their ranking and have any hope of qualifying for the quarter finals of the tournament.