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New Zealand bounce back in World Rankings

By Stefan Frost
Sam Cane of the All Blacks leads the haka during the International Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Ireland at Forsyth Barr Stadium on July 09, 2022 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

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New Zealand have climbed back up the World Rugby rankings, bouncing back from an all-time low of fifth.

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Last weekend the All Blacks suffered a grueling 26-10 loss to South Africa in their opening game of the Rugby Championship. The loss meant that the men in black had lost five of their last six tests and were in the midst of an unwanted three-game losing run.

As a result, they dropped below England in the ranking pecking order to assume their lowest-ever spot in the table.

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However, after last night’s impressive 35-23 win over South Africa at Ellis Park, New Zealand have overtaken Eddie Jones’ side to reclaim fourth. Unbelievably, had their winning margin been greater than 15 points, New Zealand would have also moved above South Africa, who remain third with a miniscule ranking cushion of 0.02 points.

If the Springboks had won, they would have climbed above France into second, but instead they now have a slight gap between them and fourth.

The pressure is still very much on New Zealand head coach Ian Foster, but the win in Johannesburg has no doubt eased the attack on his tenure and brought back a bit of dignity to a team that was spirally towards disaster.

New Zealand will have a week off before embarking on a two-test matchup with Argentina, who claimed a famous victory over Australia yesterday.

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Los Pumas recorded their highest ever win over the Wallabies with a comprehensive 48-17 battering. The result means all four teams in the Rugby Championships have a win to their name and gives Michael Cheika’s side some momentum heading into their upcoming tests against New Zealand.

Unfortunately for Argentina, the famous win did not alter their world ranking position. They are still ninth, yet have edged closer to Australia who dropped below Scotland into seventh as a result of losing by a margin greater than 15 points.

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This equals their lowest ever ranking and means another southern-hemisphere nation enters unwanted territory in the world rugby ranking stratosphere. The Wallabies will need a result in their upcoming test against South Africa if they are to move up once more.

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The All Blacks were last ranked best in the world for a brief period in 2021 and have a long way to go if they are to dethrone Ireland.

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