USA soar up World Rugby rankings after win over Samoa

AJ MacGinty's heroics in steering the USA to a 13-10 victory over Samoa in the second round of the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup 2019 has lifted the Eagles to 13th place in the World Rugby Rankings. 

The fly-half scored all of his side's points to take his tally for the tournament to 28 in two matches and the Eagles now face a title decider against Japan at the ANZ Stadium in Suva next weekend.

Having gained 0.83 of a rating point, Gary Gold's side move above Italy and Tonga, who lost 41-7 to Japan in their second-round fixture, and are now on 72.53 points overall.

The four-tenths of a point awarded to Japan for beating Tonga was not enough for the Brave Blossoms to overtake Argentina in the rankings and they stay in 11th but with only 0.19 of a point between the sides.

 Fiji's 38-13 win over Canada in front of their home supporters did not affect either side's position or rating score.

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In the Victoria Cup, Zimbabwe maintained their unbeaten record with a nail-biting 30-29 victory against Kenya at Hartsfield Stadium in Bulawayo.

Backing up earlier wins over Zambia and Uganda, the Sables led 17-5 at the midway point of the first half and were again in front, albeit briefly, 10 minutes into the second period but it took a 74th-minute penalty from scrum-half Hilton Mudariki to take the spoils of victory after a Simba fightback.

The Sables picked up 0.88 of a point and they are now just one place behind Kenya in the rankings in 33rd, with Colombia and Poland the sides to drop down as a result.

The Ivory Coast may have taken the triangular West Africa Rugby Series with 15-14 victory over Nigeria on Thursday but it is their beaten opponents who climb the rankings. Following that loss, the Black Stallions came out on top in another tight match at the weekend, defeating host nation Ghana 14-12.

Over the course of the week, Nigeria made a net gain of seven-tenths of a point which was enough for them to move above Slovenia into 70th place.

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