For all the world it looked as though Wales and South Africa were destined to climb the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini but instead it is only Australia who finished the weekend in a higher position.

Wales had an opportunity to right the wrongs of their historic defeat to Georgia the Saturday before with a wounded Australia visiting Cardiff in the final round of the Autumn Nations Series.

A win would have lifted Wales above the Wallabies in the rankings and into eighth as well as relieving a lot of the pressure on the team going into a Rugby World Cup year.

Leading 34-13 after 52 minutes everything was going to plan for Wales but a yellow card to captain Justin Tipuric proved to be a game-changing moment and the catalyst for a dramatic comeback from the Wallabies.

Mark Nawaqanitawase got two of the Wallabies' tries, his first in test rugby, before replacement hooker Lachlan Lonergan sealed it with a minute left to silence the disbelieving Cardiff crowd.

Having been ninth at the start of the Autumn Nations Series, Australia finished what has been a rollercoaster year in sixth place.

The 1.36 rating points they got for the win over Wales was enough to move them above both Scotland and Argentina and boosted their overall score to 81.80 points – 1.15 more than five weeks ago.

Wales stay in ninth place but they are now only a fraction over two points away from falling outside of the world’s top 10 for the first time in history.

One kick away

South Africa went into the second game of the day at Twickenham needing to beat England by more than 15 points to replace New Zealand in third place.

Dominant in every aspect of play, the Springboks looked well set to achieve that goal in spite of losing Thomas du Toit to a red card on the hour mark.

At that point, South Africa were comfortably in front at 27-6 but the required margin escaped them when Owen Farrell converted Henry Slade’s try eight minutes from time.

South Africa end the Autumn Nations Series one place below where they started it as a result of that conversion, but their overall rating is only three-hundredths of a point down from what it was when they began their tour.

England have remained a consistent fifth throughout but the gap between themselves and fourth place has grown to a sizeable 5.31 points.