WORLD RANKINGS: No reward for Springboks
NEWS: There is no change to the positions of the leading nations in the World Rugby Rankings after this weekend’s final round of The Rugby Championship.
But the champions New Zealand and Australia did improve their ratings after battling back to beat South Africa and Argentina respectively on Saturday.
New Zealand, who had been crowned champions a week earlier after beating Argentina, found themselves trailing 13-30 against the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld but tries from Rieko Ioane, Scott Barrett and Ardie Savea made sure the All Blacks avoide a second loss to their Rugby World Cup 2019 Pool B opponents in a row.
The narrow 32-30 win was worth just over four tenths of a point in the rankings.
This gain increases their cushion over second-placed Ireland to 2.84 rating points, while South Africa remain fifth but are now only half a point ahead of Scotland.
Australia had to overturn an even bigger deficit to avoid finishing bottom of the Rugby Championship standings after finding themselves trailing an inspired Argentina 31-7 at half-time in Salta.
A first test try for Izack Rodda began the Wallaby fight-back within four minutes of the restart and further tries from Israel Folau, David Pocock and a Dane Haylett-Petty brace ensured the visitors ran out 45-34 winners and held onto seventh place in the rankings with a gain of just over one rating point.
Despite the defeat Argentina remain ninth, albeit now more than a point adrift of France above.