Why Boks will remain No.1
SPOTLIGHT: South Africa will remain the top-ranked side in the world, even if they are well beaten by Argentina at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium this weekend.
The Springboks host Los Pumas in the first of two Rugby Championship matches in Port Elizabeth.
The Boks, fresh from their series win over the British and Irish Lions, have held on to No.1 status despite not playing a single Test match in 2020.
World Rugby say even if they are hammered by Los Pumas, it won’t see their stocks fall enough for the side to be overtaken by New Zealand.
“The Springboks are guaranteed to remain at the top of the rankings even if they are well beaten and New Zealand beat Australia by more than 15 points, although their lead could be cut to less than two points,” World Rugby said in their weekend rankings preview.
However, Jacques Nienaber’s men can not gain any extra points, due to the gap between themselves and Mario Ledesma’s side.
“South Africa will not gain any rating points for victory due to the 11.05 rating points between themselves and Argentina before home weighting is factored in,” stated World Rugby.
The All Blacks can only gain a maximum of 0.19 rating points in a victory over the Wallabies, but they cannot fall from their present position of second.
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However, they would only hold a fractional lead over Argentina and Australia, respectively, if Los Pumas beat South Africa by more than 15 points and the Wallabies beat the All Blacks by the same margin.
Meanwhile, the Wallabies will move up to fourth if they win and could go as high as third if the margin is more than 15 points and Argentina fail to match that.
Los Pumas will move up to third if they beat the Springboks by more than 15 points, equalling their best-ever position, which they last held in June 2008.
“Los Pumas will climb to fourth if they win by a smaller margin and Australia fail to win. Australia will be the lowest-ranked of the four Rugby Championship sides if they lose by more than 15 points, irrespective of how Argentina fare,” concluded World Rugby.