South Africa are set to reclaim their position at the top of the official World Rugby rankings after a late dramatic victory against New Zealand.
New Zealand had taken top spot in the rankings following South Africa’s back-to-back losses to Australia in rounds three and four of the Rugby Championship, and consolidated their position after beating the Springboks last week.
The Springboks responded strongly to their late, gut-wrenching loss to the All Blacks in the first test between the two sides this year, to inflict a similar defeat on their rivals, winning by a penalty goal with the clock in the red.
The official World Rugby Rankings are yet to be updated, but the table will show South Africa back at the top on Monday, with New Zealand in second, while Australia have strengthened their position in third.
— Springboks (@Springboks) October 2, 2021
South Africa finish third in the Rugby Championship.
While the Springboks have returned to number one in the rankings, their defeat of the All Blacks was unable to see them move up in the Rugby Championship table, where they finished third.
New Zealand had already won the Rugby Championship prior to their loss to South Africa in the final round, and finished with 25 points, seven clear of Australia on 18, while the reigning world champions finished on 15 points.
The Springboks, All Blacks and Wallabies will all have reasons to be positive heading off on their northern tours, as the traditional big three now occupy the top spots in the world rankings.
Argentina have few reasons to be positive however, having lost all six of their matches, without picking up even a solitary losing bonus point. Los Pumas managed to beat the All Blacks for the first time ever last year, and secured two draws against the Wallabies, but never looked like beating their southern rivals this time around.
Check out the Top 15 sides in the World Rugby Rankings below.
1. South Africa (+1) – 91.13
2. New Zealand (-1) – 90.97
3. Australia (N/C) – 86.99
4. England (N/C) – 85.44
5. Ireland (N/C) – 84.85
6. France (N/C) – 83.87
7. Scotland (N/C) – 82.02
8. Argentina (N/C) – 80.69
9. Wales (N/C) – 80.59
10. Japan (N/C) – 79.13
11. Fiji (N/C) – 76.87
12. Georgia (N/C) – 73.73
13. Samoa (N/C) – 71.88
14. Italy (N/C) – 70.65
15. Tonga (N/C) – 70.28