On another busy weekend of women’s international rugby, England, Wales and France made it two wins out of two with victories in the Women’s Six Nations.
England and France remain in first and third place with the same rating in the World Rugby Women’s Ranking after big wins over Italy and Ireland. But the result of the other game in the Championship in Edinburgh between Scotland and Wales did have an impact.
Sisilia Tuipulotu continued her fast-growing reputation at the DAM Health Stadium with a brace of tries for Wales, a tally matched by Gwenllian Pyrs, as the visitors came away from the Scottish capital with a 34-22 victory and 0.77 of a point added to their rating.
That wasn’t enough for Wales to catch the USA above them in seventh but with the Women’s Eagles losing 50-17 to Canada, the gap has narrowed.
Scotland’s second consecutive defeat of the Championship has seen them slip a place to 11th with Japan moving into the top 10 for the first time since the rankings were introduced in February 2016, albeit with less than one-hundredth of a point between the teams.
The Sakura 15s also benefitted from South Africa’s 35-20 victory over Spain in Madrid, which saw Las Leonas drop down to 12th. It could have been worse for Spain as had South Africa’s winning margin been one point greater they would have dropped to 13th.
Shaunique Hess scored twice for the Springbok Women and Libbie Janse van Rensburg contributed 10 points through a try, conversion and penalty.
South Africa remain in 13th place but are hot on the heels of Las Leonas who are at their lowest position since October last year.
The result led to a 3.30-point swing and there is now just two-tenths of a point between the teams in the rankings.
Following this match in Madrid, Canada defeated the USA 50-17 in the opening match of the World Rugby Pacific Four Series 2023.
In doing so, they fell just short of their record score of 52 in the fixture, set against the Women’s Eagles in November 2019.
By extending their record winning streak over their nearest rivals to eight matches, Canada picked up just under half a point. But that was nowhere near enough for them to improve on fourth place as there are still more than five points between themselves and Les Bleues.
Meanwhile, Abby Dow was the star as England defeated Italy 68-5 at Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton.
The winger crossed for four tries in a ruthless display from the Red Roses that leaves them top of the Women’s Six Nations standings on points difference from Wales.
England and Wales both have 10 points after back-to-back bonus-point wins, while France are one point further back in third.
Les Bleues failed to get a try bonus point in their round one win against Italy but they achieved that, and some, by crossing the whitewash nine times against Ireland in a 53-3 victory in Cork.