Wales beat Fiji to move back into 4th place and other ranking changes
An exciting day of rugby saw the final Pool games for some teams as they either exit the tournament or go forward to the Qualifiers. It should be an amazing weekend of World Cup rugby to come. The battle for ranking supremacy continues as well, here we review all the above.
Wales 29 – 17 Fiji
In a game which looked nervy at times, the Fijian’s came out of the gates strong, but Wales were victorious by the end. This victory was by a high enough margin that Wales found themselves back in 4th place in the rankings over South Africa. This is now seven position switches in the rankings for Wales and South Africa, and it will be amazing to see who comes out on top by the end of the tournament, whether they play each other or not.
Fiji now bow out of the tournament having underperformed in many of their matches. That said, they do show potential to be a force in world rugby if they are provided the platform to work off.
Scotland 61 – 0 Russia
Scotland took Russia apart in this match. The result helps to build a platform for what just might be the most exciting Pool finale in World Cup history as they will take on the hosts Japan on Sunday. There will be more than World Cup quarter final places on the line, as our model is pitted against the official model for the 2nd time in this tournament. We are currently 1-0 up against the official model following Fiji’s victory over Georgia in Pool D  and you’ll hear more from us on this as our model backs 7th placed Scotland to be victorious.
Argentina 47 – 17 USA
Argentina finished their World Cup with a comfortable win over the USA and automatic qualification for the 2023 tournament in France. Many pundits of the World Cup are labelling Argentina’s World Cup as “disappointing”. Naturally, Argentina will be dissatisfied not to have qualified for the quarter finals, but from a ranking standpoint they mostly performed admirably.
Argentina remained in 9th place in the rankings over the entire tournament - so far, although their ranking score has almost always been ascending. They improved their score by losing narrowly to France (23-21) and beating Tonga (28-12) and the USA (47-17) quite convincingly. Their worse slip up came when they suffered a heavy defeat to England (39-10), although perhaps they paid the price for going for broke in trying to beat England and qualify for the quarter finals. Overall Argentina’s ranking score rose from 3.8 to 4.1 over the tournament, and this should be viewed positively as they are looking to build towards the next World Cup in 2023.
The USA, on the other hand, has arguably been the biggest underachiever of the World Cup so far.
They started the World Cup ranked 12th but every game they lost, more heavily than their ranking predicted, has caused them to shed ranking score like they’re going out of fashion.
Consequently, they lost two places in the ranking, despite other underachievers around them. Their ranking score is now only 0.1 ahead of Tonga who they face in their final World Cup game on Sunday, in which both teams will be fighting for their victory of this tournament as well as ranking score and places.