Springboks on the rise again

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 15:16

WORLD RANKINGS: South Africa have moved past Australia on the world rankings as a result of the Springboks' hard-fought 18-10 win over the Wallabies at the weekend.

Morné Steyn kicked all of SA's points as the Boks maintained their proud home record at the Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria in the penultimate round of the Rugby Championship.

The veteran flyhalf slotted two drop-goals, becoming the first Springbok player to do so in a single Test since Francois Steyn kicked a pair against Australia in Cape Town in June 2007, and four penalties to earn South Africa their first win in four outings and 0.82 rating points.

All of Australia's points came in the first quarter - through a Scott Sio try, the prop's first in 23 Tests, and a conversion and a penalty from Bernard Foley - but they were unable to sustain the momentum and slipped to a seventh straight loss at high-altitude venue.

As a result, South Africa will replace Australia in third place when the World Rugby rankings, with the Wallabies dropping to fourth, on 84.71 points, just over two points clear of Wales in fifth.

New Zealand remain 6.81 points clear at the top of the rankings following their 36-17 win against Argentina in Buenos Aires with Los Pumas unchanged in seventh.

The All Blacks scored one of the tries of this year's Rugby Championship when TJ Perenara finished off a sweeping move which started from a kick return deep inside the All Blacks' 22.

Anton Lienert-Brown, who was influential throughout, Ryan Crotty, Dane Coles, and Ben Smith also crossed for the visitors, who led 29-3 at half-time. Beauden Barrett converted four of the tries.

Facundo Isa and Joaquin Tuculet got Argentina's tries in the last 22 minutes of the game as All Blacks duo Joe Moody and Liam Squire were sin-binned in a stop-start second half.

New Zealand now travel to Durban knowing that victory over the Springboks on Saturday will see them equal the world record for consecutive wins (17) by tier one nations - held by themselves and South Africa.

Australia and Argentina conclude their Rugby Championship fixtures with a ground-breaking game at Twickenham the same day, one that will decide who finishes bottom of the 2016 table.