New Zealand have narrowed the gap between themselves and France in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini thanks to their emphatic 41-12 win over Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday.
The All Blacks, who went into the weekend ranked third, couldn’t have wished for a better start to their defence of the Rugby Championship title, scoring seven tries on their first visit to Argentina since July 2019.
Dane Coles, Ardie Savea, Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett and debutant Emoni Narawa crossed Los Pumas’ line, while Damian McKenzie was only successful with three of his seven conversion attempts.
For Argentina, Lucio Sordoni marked his return to international rugby with a try and their most-capped player Agustín Creevy dived over from close range on the stroke of full-time.
The victory extends the All Blacks’ unbeaten record against Los Pumas in Argentina to 15 matches and also boosts their rating in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini.
TRC RD#1 RESULT— TheRugbyChampionship (@SanzarTRC) July 8, 2023
Springbok winger Kurt-Lee Arendse scored a hat-trick as the home team proved too strong in Eddie Jones’ first game in charge since returning.
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With 0.71 points awarded to them for the victory, New Zealand are now on 89.69 points – just over three-quarters of a point below France in second place.
Arendse maintains his remarkable scoring streak
Meanwhile, a hat-trick from Kurt-Lee Arendse was the highlight of a brilliant team performance from South Africa as they made it another match to forget at Loftus Versfeld for Australia.
The Wallabies never looked like winning their first game at the iconic venue as Arendse maintained his remarkable try-scoring record.
The 27-year-old has scored 10 tries in eight appearances and has become the first Springbok in history to score in seven consecutive tests.
Two penalty tries followed Arendse’s hat-trick and Pieter-Steph du Toit also crossed late on. Mannie Libbok slotted three conversions.
Marika Koroibete gave the Wallabies an early lead but they failed to score again until debutant Carter Gordon converted his own try right at the death.
South Africa remain in fourth place and Australia seventh with both teams’ ranking staying the same.
In the Asia Rugby Championship Division 1, the UAE beat Pakistan 95-0 and 93-3 in the last seven days and they have now climbed above Latvia and Israel and into 60th place to equal their highest-ever position in the rankings.
Pakistan, meanwhile, have fallen two places to 93rd with Mauritius and Bosnia and Herzegovina the beneficiaries.