The Rugby Championship 2022 table was turned on its head a fortnight ago, with Argentina going from top to bottom in the space of 80 minutes following their humbling 53-3 defeat to New Zealand.
The All Blacks have replaced Los Pumas at the top of the standings after four rounds as a result of that win with 10 points, one more than South Africa, Australia and Argentina.
And with it being so tight in the table, it is highly likely that there will be even more movement, up or down, in the two remaining rounds.
The same can be said of the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini, where the positioning of teams has also fluctuated wildly during this most open of Rugby Championships.
Australia, for example, could be up anywhere between sixth and a new record low of ninth when the rankings are officially updated at 12 noon on Monday, depending on the result of their midweek Bledisloe Cup game against the All Blacks and the fixture between Argentina and South Africa in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
If beaten by the All Blacks for a fourth straight match, Australia will sink to ninth, it’s as simple as that. An All Blacks win would not only see them go a long way to successfully defending their title but also promote them up to third in the rankings, above South Africa.
A victory for Australia would send Dave Rennie’s side up to seventh – or sixth if Argentina fail to register a win against the Springboks – while also condemning the All Blacks to fifth.
Argentina and South Africa cannot improve on their respective positions in sixth and third but the beaten team could lose ground in the rankings.
A heavy defeat for the Springboks would see them drop below England into fourth, while a beaten Los Pumas team could fall by one or two places depending on the outcome of the Bledisloe Cup tie.
South Africa have won the last four meetings, including a 46-13 win the last time they travelled to Argentina in August 2019. The last three tests up until now have been in South Africa.