Fiji set to climb to their highest-ever World Rugby Women’s Ranking

Thursday’s ground-breaking 24-15 win over Japan will send them above Russia and into a record position of 14th.

Fiji will climb to a new high of 14th in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings when they are officially updated at 12 noon BST (GMT+1) on Monday.

Having been beaten 24-15 by Japan in Suva six days earlier, Fijiana reversed the scoreline in the Lautoka re-match on Thursday to square the two-test series 1-1.

The 1.75 points they gained in victory will give them a new rating of 61.19 points, which takes them above a dormant Russia.

It was some turnaround by Moses Rauluni’s team who resolved the disciplinary issues that let them down in the first encounter to beat Japan for the first time in five previous attempts.

A big crowd of 3,000 spectators at Churchill Park saw Fiji surge into a 12-0 lead in as many minutes following tries for the two wingers, Repeka Tove and Merewairita Neivosa and a Luisa Tisolo conversion.

Iroha Nagata’s converted try got Japan back into the contest momentarily, but Neivoa’s second score sent Fijiana into half-time with a 17-7 lead.

In a much more even-sided second half, Ayasa Otsuka’s 54th-minute penalty for Japan was the only score of the third quarter.

 But then replacement hooker Unaisi Lalabalavu rumbled over 13 minutes from time and with Tisolo adding the conversion, Fijiana had some breathing space.

When Japan’s captain Nagata scored her second try of the match on 77 minutes it was too late to affect the outcome.

As well as moving them up the rankings, the historic victory was another step forward for Fijiana in their development as a team as they build towards their second appearance at a Women’s Rugby World Cup in England in 2025.

Last updated: Jun 21, 2024, 8:09:44 AM
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