All Blacks close in on Springboks at top of World Rugby rankings
The All Blacks have moved to within just two points of the Springboks on the World Rugby rankings following the latest round of the Rugby Championship.
New Zealand’s quest to return to the summit of the global rankings received a boost on Sunday when Ian Foster’s men dispatched Los Pumas 39-0 on the Gold Coast.
That result kept the second-placed All Blacks on 90.31 points, but the four-point buffer separating them from the Springboks was cut in half just hours later when South Africa suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of the Wallabies at Cbus Super Stadium.
Thanks largely in part to the stunning international comeback of veteran playmaker Quade Cooper, Australia registered a 28-26 victory over the Springboks.
While the reigning world champions remain in first place despite the defeat, the Springboks have dropped two points to finish the weekend on 92.49, little more than two points astray from the All Blacks.
A repeat of those results in this week’s re-matches in Brisbane on Saturday would see the All Blacks head into their 100th test match against the Springboks with first place up for grabs for the first time since 2019.
The Wallabies, meanwhile, have been well-rewarded for their shock win over the Springboks as they have picked up two points to leapfrog both Argentina and France to move from seventh to fifth on the world rankings with 84.11 points.
Elsewhere, the United States were the only other risers in the latest World Rugby rankings update after they defeated North American rivals Canada 38-16 in the second leg of the World Cup qualification series in Denver on the weekend.
The victory meant the Eagles overturned a 13-point deficit after their 34-21 loss in Newfoundland a week beforehand, giving them a boost of 0.42 points to finish the week on 67.12 points.
In doing so, the United States have overtaken Uruguay, who they will face in a two-legged play-off next month to determine who will qualify for the 2023 World Cup as Americas 1, to jump to 16th spot on the world rankings.
World Rugby rankings (1-10)
1. South Africa (N/C) – 92.49
2. New Zealand (N/C) – 90.31
3. England (N/C) – 85.44
4. Ireland (N/C) – 84.85
5. Australia (+2) – 84.11
6. France (-1) – 83.87
7. Argentina (-1) – 82.86
8. Scotland (N/C) – 82.02
9. Wales (N/C) – 80.59
10. Japan (N/C) – 79.13
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