Pi­chot slams world rank­ings

Fiji Sun - - Sport - Dublin: Rugby Pass

World Rugby vice pres­i­dent Agustin Pi­chot has joined the cho­rus of crit­i­cism sur­round­ing the world rank­ings sys­tem, which saw New Zealand lose its decade­long spell at No. 1 to Wales a fort­night ago.

De­spite en­joy­ing sus­tained pe­riod of suc­cess since last March – which in­cluded a record 14-match win­ning streak and a Six Na­tions Grand Slam ti­tle ear­lier this year – Wales haven’t de­feated the All Blacks since 1953. Sub­se­quently, their move to the sum­mit of the world rank­ings after they de­feated Eng­land 13-6 in Cardiff on the same day that New Zealand crushed the Wal­la­bies 36-0 to re­tain the Bledis­loe Cup brought with it some con­tro­versy. Speak­ing to Ar­gen­tine web­site aplenorugb­y.com.ar, the former Pu­mas cap­tain la­belled the struc­ture of the rank­ings as “ridicu­lous”.

“It is a rank­ing that is badly done and I said it the first day I ar­rived at World Rugby,” he said.

“It has no or­der, it is all math­e­mat­i­cal and I would say that it is al­most a mat­ter of mar­ket­ing.

“Ar­gentina, for ex­am­ple, plays all the games with the first three [New Zealand, Aus­tralia and South Africa] and Ja­pan or Fiji win two or three games and are above Italy who also play in a very tough tour­na­ment like the Six Na­tions. “This was demon­strated when Wales never beat New Zealand in his­tory [since the rank­ings were cre­ated] and now ap­pears first.

“It’s ridicu­lous! I’m go­ing change it, I as­sure you.”

In the wake of his side’s re­sound­ing vic­tory over Aus­tralia at Eden Park in Auck­land two weeks ago, All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen voiced his dis­ap­proval of the way in which his side were de­moted to No. 2 on the rank­ings for the first time since 2009.

“We won the Bledis­loe Cup and lost the rank­ings. Ask yourself how that works,” he said.

“I’ve never un­der­stood their sys­tem. You win a game and you lose the top rank­ing?”-Rugby Pass to first time since their 1976-78 reign, Manawatu were spir­ited and led on sev­eral oc­ca­sions at Forsyth Barr Sta­dium in round four of the Mitre 10 Cup.

But ul­ti­mately it was the hosts who held strong, win­ning 37-20 while re­ceiv­ing some help from a cou­ple of ref­eree de­ci­sions that didn’t go the vis­i­tors’ way. Manawatu came into the con­test look­ing for their first win in 2019, but found them­selves play­ing catchup just 90 sec­onds in. Try­ing to move the ball quickly to the left just in­side the Otago half, Otere Black threw an in­ter­cept pass and Koroi ran 60 me­tres to put the Shield hold­ers in front, hav­ing been pro­moted to the start­ing lineup at late no­tice.

Otago’s early lead didn’t last long, how­ever, with Black the dan­ger man, sidestep­ping a tackle and re­leas­ing half­back Jamie Booth who dot­ted down un­der the posts. Otago 37: (Vil­imoni Koroi 3, Jona Nareki, Pate­le­sio Tomkin­son tries, Josh Ioane 3 con, 2 pen) Manawatu 20 (Jamie Booth, Adam Boult tries, Otere Black 2 con, 2 pen). HT: 22-17

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