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Power Rankings after week two of Summer Nations Series

Power Rankings after week two of Summer Nations Series

Power Rankings after week two of Summer Nations Series

Week two of the Summer Nations Series saw England and France avenge defeats suffered against Wales and Scotland seven days prior.

Steve Borthwick’s side overcame a red card to Owen Farrell to edge Wales 19-17 at Twickenham, as Ben Earl starred in south-west London.

Then in Saint-Etienne, a late Thomas Ramos penalty ensured France avoided back-to-back defeats against Scotland, but their weekend was soured after news emerged that Romain Ntamack will miss the World Cup with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Elsewhere, Georgia gave Romania a reality check in the battle of two of the hemisphere’s most physical sides.

Let’s take a look at how those matches affected this week’s Power Rankings.

1. Ireland (=)

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Ireland were not in action this weekend, with Andy Farrell’s side instead heading over to Portugal.

The squad enjoyed a week-long training camp at their regular base, The Campus, in Quinta do Lago, and will now look to lay down a marker against England in Dublin this weekend.

2. France (+1)

France shared a second consecutive thriller with Scotland on Saturday, running out 30-27 victors to level the scores following defeat in Edinburgh.

The second clash between the pair was somewhat reminiscent of the first, with France building up a big lead before letting their opponents back into the game in the second half.

Les Bleus named a stronger looking side on this occasion and that initially showed, with fly-half Ntamack, Damian Penaud and Charles Ollivon all touching down.

But they let their grip on proceedings slip in the second 40, a habit Fabien Galthie will want to break in their final two warm-up matches, against Fiji and Australia.

3. South Africa (-1)

It seems harsh to drop South Africa a place when they haven’t played, but France’s win over Scotland feels like enough to see them reclaim second spot.

The Springboks departed South Africa’s shores on Saturday, heading to Europe with the dream of defending their World Cup crown.

First, they play Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, before a mouth-watering clash with New Zealand in London.

4. Scotland (=)

Scotland have made a practice of starting matches slowly but while Kyle Steyn got them up and running in France, they could not kick on.

They trailed 27-10 at the start of the second half, giving themselves a mountain to climb – one they did to level the scores late on before Ramos kicked the hosts to victory.

There has been a lot to like about Scotland, especially in attack, but they’ll be hoping to improve their defensive discipline when Georgia head to Scottish Gas Murrayfield on 26th August.

5. England (+1)

England return to fifth in our rankings after a gutsy win over Wales at Twickenham.

Maro Itoje’s try with England down to 12 men and just minutes after a score from Tomos Williams demonstrated the sort of never-say-die attitude that will be crucial when knockout rugby kicks in later this year.

A trip to Ireland this weekend represents a firmer examination of England’s credentials, before they complete their preparations with a visit from Fiji.

6. Wales (-1)

A disappointing day for Wales saw them blow a late lead and lose captain Dewi Lake to injury.

Victory would have seen them record back-to-back wins over their old rivals for the first time in a decade, but they cannot afford to dwell on the defeat for too long, with South Africa in town on Saturday afternoon.

7. Australia (=)

Australia were not in action this weekend, nor will they be in Round 3, but their entire squad will get a run out in 10 days’ time.

Eddie Jones has named an Australia A squad to take on Portugal on Saturday 26 August in Paris, a day before his troops take on the World Cup hosts in the capital.

8. Fiji (=)

Pacific Nations Cup winners Fiji remain in eighth spot. A busy summer for Simon Raiwalui’s side continues on Saturday when they play France, before heading to Twickenham a week later.

9. Samoa (=)

Samoa have just one game to play before their World Cup campaign begins against Chile on September 16th.

One of England’s Pool D opponents, they complete their preparations against Ireland on 26th August.

10. Italy (=)

The Azzurri return to action on Saturday after a week’s hiatus, with Romania their guests in San Benedetto del Tronto.

On Monday the team received a warm embrace from supporters, who greeted the team’s arrival in the city for their first home match of the Summer Nations Series, before an opening training session on Tuesday.

11. Georgia (=)

Georgia blitzed Romania 56-6 in Tbilisi, running in eight tries in an emphatic display.

It was an especially poignant day for wing Otar Lashkhi, who made just his second international appearance at the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, the ground named after his grandfather, a former Soviet Union footballer.

12. Japan (=)

Japan’s final Summer Nations Series game takes them to Italy on Saturday 26th August.

After finishing a disappointing third in the Pacific Nations Cup, defence coach John Mitchell will know there is work to do in his final assignment before taking the reins as Red Roses boss.

13. Romania (=)

Completing our list is Romania, who after defeats against the USA and Georgia will be determined to put in a performance against Italy this weekend.

The fixture list does not get any kinder to the Oaks, with Ireland and South Africa first up for them when the World Cup begins.

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