There is no change to the positions of the leading nations in the World Rugby Rankings after this weekend's penultimate round of The Rugby Championship, in which New Zealand clinched their sixth title, but Poland move up two places to 33rd after beginning their Rugby Europe Trophy campaign with an impressive 41-22 win over Czechia in Zlin.


A heavy defeat at the hands of Argentina would have seen the All Blacks relinquish their long-held status as the world's number one nation to Ireland, but they never really looked in trouble at the Velez Sarsfield stadium after cruising into a 21-3 lead after 31 minutes.

Coming off a shock 36-34 loss to the Springboks a fortnight earlier, the world champions fell behind to an early Nicolas Sanchez penalty but tries from Rieko Ioane either side of one from fellow wing Waisake Naholo saw them take command.

A 37th-minute yellow card to Sonny Bill Williams put the All Blacks on the back foot; however, the home side failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage and replacement second-rower Patrick Tuipulotu extended New Zealand's lead further 14 minutes into the second half.

Argentina threatened a late surge when scrum-half Tomas Cubelli and full-back Emiliano Boffelli came off the bench and scored in quick succession, but Anton Lienert-Brown ensured the visitors had the final say.

Reigning World Rugby Player of the Year Beauden Barrett landed all five of his conversions in a return to goal-kicking form after a forgettable display against the Springboks in round four.


South Africa's earlier failure to land a try-bonus point in a 23-12 win over Australia in Port Elizabeth meant New Zealand only had to win in Buenos Aires to retain the Rugby Championship trophy with a round to spare. 

The Springboks are assured of second place in the Rugby Championship table though, ahead of next Saturday's meeting with the All Blacks in Pretoria, after overturning their recent run of poor form against the Wallabies.

Handre Pollard converted tries from Aphiwe Dyantyi and Faf de Klerk and landed three penalties as the Springboks registered only their second win in seven attempts against the men in green and gold.

Reece Hodge and Will Genia crossed for Australia who now need to beat Argentina next week to have any chance of avoiding the wooden spoon.

South Africa gained a fraction over six-tenths of a rating point for the win and remain in fifth place, while Australia stay seventh, still 2.74 points better off than France.


In the Rugby Europe Trophy, Poland raced into a 24-0 lead after just over half an hour thanks to number eight Piotr Zeszutek's try double and one from centre Michal Jurczyński and the unerring boot of Mateusz Adamski.

A try either side of the break from number eight Dan Hošek and a penalty from centre Jiří Pantůček brought Czechia to within nine points of the Poles but the visitors soon responded with their fourth try, scored by centre Daniel Gdula and converted by Wojciech Piotrowicz.

Tomáš Forst went over for a converted try as Czechia reduced the deficit to 12 points with six minutes to go but Poland wrapped up the scoring when forward Stanislaw Powała-Niedżwiecki crashed over with time nearly up.

As a reward for ending Czechia's three-year unbeaten home record, Poland pick up 2.37 points and move above Lithuania and their beaten opponents into 33rd place. Switzerland also benefit from Czechia's fall to 35th, improving their position by one place to 32nd.