Cook Islands Moana perform the pre match haka against Australia yesterday. 22110202
Cook Islands teams are among the best improvers in the latest International Rugby League World Rankings but the head of the national body says he still doesn’t agree with the ranking system.
The Kukis (national men’s team) are now ranked 12th
in the world – a jump from 20th place in lead up to the Rugby League
World Cup. The Moana were the most significant improvers in the women’s
rankings, climbing from 11th to sixth place.
The Kukis finished third in their pool at the World
Cup after beating Wales and going down to Tonga and Papua New Guinea. The Moana
also finished third in their pool after going down to powerhouses Australia and
New Zealand before beating France.
However Charles Carlson, the president of Cook Islands
Rugby League, said he still didn’t agree with this ranking system.
“The ranking should be based on the result of the World
Cup and then review it after the qualifying round every two years. How can
Wales rank high than the Cook Islands when it didn’t win any game at the World
Cup plus the Cooks beat Wales. Also why is Serbia in the top 16 ahead of the
other World Cup teams when they didn't make the World Cup,” Carlson said.
“I expected Cook Islands to rank 9th or 10th after
missing out on the top eight but coming away with a win.”
Carlson said the goal was to better the ranking but
under the current system meant more international games.
“It is based on the number of international games
played in the past four years. So the more games one team play the higher the
ranking. It doesn’t reflect a true ranking because you could get tier three
teams ranked higher than tier two teams because they played more games.
“But it’s good to see the Cook Islands up there with
the best in the world.”
The Official International Rugby League (IRL) World
Rankings are calculated on each nation’s performance over the current season
and the three preceding seasons.
Points are awarded to each team for each match based
The result of the match i.e. win, lose or
The margin of victory (or defeat) - the
larger the winning margin the greater the value to the rankings
The relative strength of opposition faced
- if you play a higher ranked team that is of greater value than playing a
lower ranked team
The date of the match – more recent
matches are weighted more heavily - a result in the most recent 2 years is
worth double a result 3 years ago and 4 times a result that is 4 years old
The importance of the match - World Cup
matches are ranked top followed in order by World Cup Qualifiers, Regional
Championships and one-off international matches
The points are then used to create the Official World
Rankings by ordering the teams by virtue of the points gained over the
Only officially sanctioned matches played at senior
level between two approved members are considered as part of the rankings.
Meanwhile the Cook Islands men’s side will take on the
winner of the 2023 Middle East Africa Cup for a spot in the 2025 Rugby League
World Cup to be held in France.
Cook Islands Moana have automatically qualified for
the Women’s 2025 Rugby League World Cup.