Written by Alex Goff    Friday, 09 November 2012 19:53    PDF Print Write e-mail
When One Point, or a Quarter, Matter
National Teams - USA Men

The late rough patches for the USA against Russia do matter. 

USA Head Coach Mike Tolkin said he didn't want his players to think about it, but he acknowledged he thinks about the IRB World Rankings. 

For their 40-26 victory over Russia the USA picks up .54 rankings points to move to 67.15, which is .78 behind 16th-place Japan. However, had the Eagles held on to win by 15 or more, and they were up 24 with about 15 minutes to go, they would have received another .27 points, to move to 67.42. 

Why does that matter? It matters because the USA has already been burned by rankings, as higher rankings have given Canada favorable terms in World Cup Qualifiers, and being ranked can also help you influence what games you get and where you play.

Moving up from 17th will take some time for the USA, which is why a quarter of a point matters.