In the only change to the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini, Ireland have replaced Italy in seventh place after beating the Azzurre 29-8.
Having been beaten by Wales and France in their first two outings in the Women’s Six Nations 2022, Greg McWilliams saw this as an opportunity to open their account for the season.
Italy actually took the lead through Beatrice Rigoni’s fourth-minute penalty and the game remained in the balance at half-time with Ireland only holding a slender 10-3 lead after Lucy Mulhall and Neve Jones had crossed.
However, a try just after the restart from Eve Higgins followed by a penalty try, saw the Irish pull away from the Azzurre.
Melissa Bettoni provided Italy with some cheer with their first try of the Championship in the 72nd minute while Ireland were down to 14 players following a yellow card to debutant Aoife Wafer
However, Ireland had the final word when Katie O’Dwyer pounced on a loose ball from the lineout and crashed over.
With 1.31 rating points riding on the outcome, Ireland now find themselves as the higher-ranked of the two teams.
Ireland started the day one place below the Azzurre but the victory has boosted their score to 76.00 points while Italy’s has been cut to 75.12, leaving them in eighth place.
England still hold a commanding 7.68-point lead at the top of the rankings over New Zealand after making it three wins from three in front of a sell-out Kingsholm crowd.
14,689 spectators were in attendance as England ran in 10 tries, with Lark Davies and Jess Breach scoring two apiece in a 58-5 victory.
While Wales stay in ninth place, Italy’s defeat to Ireland means the gap between themselves and the Azzurre is down to 1.49 points.
No rating points were won or lost in that game, nor in Glasgow where France also picked up a bonus-point win thanks to an impressive first-half performance.
A double from Laure Sansus and tries from Jessy Tremouliere and captain Gaëlle Hermet had Les Bleues leading by 28-3 at half-time, with Scotland’s only points coming from the boot of Helen Nelson.
France were on the defensive for much of the second half but a Chloe Rollie try 10 minutes from time was all that Scotland had to show for their efforts.