1. New Zealand: The results speak for themselves. One win, one second place, and one third place finish. No other team has been able to achieve that level of consistency. They justifiably lead with 58 points.
2. South Africa: If we were just going off the results in South Africa the Blitzbokke would be number one but unlike the All Blacks they have one fourth place finish to their name.
3. Argentina: Don’t look know but Argentina could be one of the surprise contenders this year. They had a poor showing in the Gold Coast but the last two tournaments they have been very good. They also tend to play well in America.
4. Fiji: Two Plate wins won’t cut it for Fiji if they want to win the title at the end of the year. They need more performances like their win in Dubai.
5. Kenya: Tied for 7th in the table with Samoa it is tempting to place them down a notch but they are making the Cup quarterfinals regularly and have beaten some very good teams this year.
6. England: Two solid tournaments to start the season helped but a lackluster performance in South Africa calls back questions regarding their consistency.
7. Australia: It’s been a steady decline since their home leg in the Gold Coast with less and less points each outing. They need a big tournament to save them from falling further down the table.
8. Samoa: One bad tournament can ruin a season. Samoa are hoping the measly five points they got in Dubai won’t hurt them too much. At least they rebounded with a third place finish in South Africa.
9. France: Consistency has been a problem for France. One week they are making the Cup quarterfinals and another week they are in the Shield. At least their last outing was a positive.
10. Wales: Over the last two events they have as many points as Portugal. That either tells you something about how much Wales struggled in Port Elizabeth or how much Portugal has improved.
11. Portugal: They have the talent to be a consistent Cup quarterfinalist but they have yet to maximize that talent.
12. Scotland: If it weren’t for a Cup quarterfinal in Dubai Scotland would find themselves right in the hunt for relegation.
13. Canada: Tired legs got to them in South Africa but they hadn’t exactly impressed in the two tournaments prior. Las Vegas is a home leg in many ways for the team so expect them to do well.
14. United States: It has been a season of changes for the team but not in the win column. Through three tournaments they find themselves in a battle with Spain to avoid relegation.
15. Spain: You have to feel for the Spanish players given the way their funding was removed prior to the season. They are relegation favorites after earning only four points.