Historic highs for Hong Kong and Fiji women

Hong Kong and Fiji are up to all-time highs in the World Rugby Women's Rankings, while Samoa drop to their lowest ever rating after losing their Rugby World Cup 2021 qualifier to the Fijians.

A 2-0 series win over the Netherlands in Amsterdam has swept Hong Kong to their highest-ever position of 19th in the World Rugby Women's Rankings.

With five full rating points awarded to them for back-to-back victories against higher-ranked opponents, Hong Kong move above Germany and Sweden and are now just one place behind the Dutch in 19th place.

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Hong Kong defeated their hosts 18-0 on Saturday, having won 14-12 when the sides met for the first time in test rugby last Tuesday.

Captain Karen Hoi Ting So opened the scoring in the fifth minute for Hong Kong before Tammy Lau Nga-wun doubled the lead with her second try in as many matches.

A period of magnificent defence was then followed by number eight Suzanne Sittko's first try for Hong Kong in her second cap, pushing the score to 15-0. Replacement fly-half Aileen Ryan missed the conversion but added a late penalty to round off a successful tour.

Something to prove

Lead coach Fan Shun-kei was delighted with the way his side laid down a marker ahead of next year's Asia Rugby Women's Championship, a qualifier for Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand.

“The girls proved something to themselves on tour, that even though we give up size, we can still play big," he said.

"This experience is an important moment in our build-up to qualifying for the Rugby World Cup, which is what we are focused on now. This win will give us a lot of confidence going into the qualifiers with Japan and Kazakhstan.

“We need the same physicality we had today, more even, but we need to be much more skilful. The Asian sides are much faster and we will need to play differently against them."

 It was also a milestone weekend for women's rugby in Fiji with qualification for their first Rugby World Cup accompanied by an historic high of 22nd in the rankings.

Fiji's 41-13 win over Samoa in Lautoka sealed their place at RWC 2021 as well as earning them three rating points, enough to send them above Belgium and Trinidad and Tobago. Defeat has seen Samoa fall to a new low ranking of 17th.

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