WORLD RANKINGS: Springboks overtake England
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Handre Pollard’s last-gasp conversion in Wellington earned South Africa a 16-16 draw against New Zealand as well as one rating point in the World Rugby Rankings.
Showing nerves of steel, the Springbok fly-half stepped up when needed to coolly add the extras to Herschel Jantjes’ try – his third in the first two games of this year’s Rugby Championship.
By improving their rating to 86.30 points, South Africa overtake England and move into fourth place in the rankings with a gap of just three-hundredths of a point between the sides.
The other Rugby Championship match was another low-scoring affair with Christian Lealiifano marking his return to the test arena after a successful battle against Leukaemia with three penalties and the conversion of Reece Hodge’s first-half try.
Facundo Isa got a late try for Los Pumas who at least left the Suncorp Stadium with a losing bonus point in a 10-16 defeat.
The Wallabies picked up just under a quarter of a rating point for the victory to cement their position in sixth place in the rankings, while Argentina are still in 10th despite their second narrow defeat in as many weeks.
Japan are unchanged in 11th but with an improved rating of 76.21 points following their 34-21 win over the higher-ranked Fiji in the opening round of the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup in Kamaishi. Fiji hang on to ninth place despite the loss.
In Africa, the second round of the Victoria Cup brought a clean sweep of away wins for Zimbabwe, Kenya and the Ivory Coast.
Only Zimbabwe, however, were able to improve their position in the rankings with their 31-26 victory against Uganda boosting their points total to 50.54 – enough to take them above Lithuania and into 35th position.