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Sunday, December 10, 2023

The Battle for Rugby Supremacy: Ireland vs. South Africa

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A lot is at stake when Ireland face South Africa on Saturday. Ireland is currently ranked first, but that could change if they lose to South Africa. If South Africa wins, they will take the top spot, and Ireland’s reign will end.


IRB Rankings that could see the Springboks replace Ireland as World Number 1 this weekend.

Ireland might drop to third place if France also wins their game against Namibia. France faces a unique situation because even if they win, it won’t affect their ranking much due to the rating point difference between them and Namibia.


If the game ends in a draw, Ireland will keep their top spot, but their lead will become very slim, leaving them vulnerable to South Africa catching up. If Ireland wins by more than 15 points, they will have a strong lead, and South Africa will drop to third place behind France.


READ: Rassie takes a dig at the Irish.


Scotland and England are in a unique position. Even if they win their games against Chile and Tonga, respectively, they won’t improve their rankings. However, if England wins and Scotland loses, England could surpass Scotland in the rankings. If Scotland loses against Tonga, they could drop to 10th place.


Fiji, who recently won against Australia, has a chance to climb in the rankings depending on other game outcomes. If Wales and Australia draw, Fiji will move up a spot above Wales. If both England and Scotland lose unexpectedly and Wales and Australia draw, Fiji could even reach fifth place.


Australia’s ranking is at risk. If they lose to Wales and Argentina wins, Australia could drop to 10th place. However, if they win their second game, they could climb as high as fifth place, provided England and Scotland stumble.


READ: Nienaber announces the “Nuke Squad”


Moving past the top 10, Samoa’s ranking is uncertain. A loss to Uruguay and wins for Italy and Georgia against lower-ranked teams could drop Samoa to 13th place. But if they beat Australia, they could move up to ninth place.


Portugal and Georgia also aim for ranking milestones. If Portugal beats Georgia, they will become the higher-ranked nation for the first time since 2006. Georgia has a long unbeaten streak against Portugal in Rugby Europe Championship rivalries.


Uruguay, with a convincing win over Italy, could reach their highest-ever ranking of 14th. Italy might fall a few places depending on the margin of defeat and other game outcomes. If Tonga beats Scotland, they could surpass Japan in the rankings.


Namibia hopes to return to the top 20 with a victory over France, a ranking they haven’t achieved since 2017. Chile has a chance to enter the top 20 for the first time if they upset England and Namibia loses to France.



Eugene Mpatheni
Eugene Mpatheni
The other half of the The Joy Ride every weekday from 4 pm to 7 pm. Former Man United fan but is now a Scouser. I love all forms of sport, especially the conversations around the beautiful game. A husband and father of three who falls asleep to the sounds of barber ASMR.

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