England eye rankings as Springboks await - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

England eye rankings as Springboks await

By Julian Guyer 18/11/2008 10:42:21 AM Comments (0)

More than England's pride could suffer after their 28-14 defeat by Australia at Twickenham helped drop them down to fifth place in the International Rugby Board's world rankings.

England need to finish their series of November internationals in the top four if they are to avoid being drawn alongside the Wallabies, world champions South Africa or hosts New Zealand in the pool phase of the 2011 World Cup.

The draw takes place in London on December 1 and Argentina currently occupy fourth place following a 22-14 win over Italy last weekend.

England face the Springboks and the All Blacks on successive weekends at Twickenham, starting this Saturday with a repeat of last year's World Cup final which South Africa won 15-6 in Paris.

Martin Johnson's men will also hope Ireland can do them a favour when they play Argentina at Croke Park on Saturday.

Ireland have plenty to play for against the Pumas - not just revenge for their 2007 World Cup exit at the hands of the eventual third-place finishers.

Defeat for Declan Kidney's men at the weekend, combined with a Scotland victory over Canada, would see Ireland drop down into ninth in the rankings.

That would leave them in the third tier of the World Cup draw, potentially scuppering their hopes of a successful tournament more than three years before it even starts.

Meanwhile Johnson, due to name his team to play South Africa on Tuesday, will be looking for more composure in attack and greater discipline in defence after a canny Australia side took advantage of the repeated penalty chances they were presented with last Saturday.

"We are very, very down with the fact that we lost but our self-belief has not been knocked," said full-back Delon Armitage who, in his first Test against major opposition, was sound in defence but left frustrated in attack by the failure of the inside backs to let him loose against the Wallabies.

"Letting such a massive opportunity to beat Australia at Twickenham go is about as galling as it gets. To lose at home in an England shirt, I don't think it gets any lower than that.

Armitage added: "We did make the chances, we did make the breaks but we just weren't clinical enough. "We gave away 12 points before we had even touched the ball probably, and that's far too much.

"We butchered quite a few chances, wasted a few mismatches and we were nowhere near clinical enough. At this level that has to be improved, and we've got a week to do it."

IRB world rankings on November 17 (top 10 only):

01. New Zealand 92.41 points

02. South Africa 88.45

03. Australia 86.70

04. Argentina 82.82

05. England 82.11

06. France 80.13

07. Wales 79.58

08. Ireland 77.18

09. Scotland 76.76

10. Fiji 75.24.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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