The second round of The Rugby Championship produced more drama with New Zealand and Argentina both picking up wins against South Africa and Australia.
Argentina have moved above the Wallabies in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini as a result of their 34-31 win in Paramatta, while New Zealand remain in third place following their 35-20 triumph over the world champion Springboks.
In a game that swung one way and then the other, Argentina won it at the death when Juan Martín González crashed over from a rolling maul to score Los Pumas’ fourth try following earlier efforts from Jerónimo de la Fuente, Julián Montoya and Mateo Carreras.
Emiliano Boffelli converted all four tries and kicked two penalties as he continues to show the sort of form that made him world rugby’s most prodigious points-scorer in 2022.
Quade Cooper converted all four Australia tries, scored by Len Ikitau, Nic White, Samu Kerevi and Mark Nawaqanitawase as well as kicking a penalty but it was not enough to give Eddie Jones his first win in his second spell as head coach.
Argentina’s first win over the Wallabies on Australian soil in six matches sees the teams swap places in the rankings. Los Pumas have moved up to seventh with an improved rating of 81.49 points, while Australia’s rating has been cut to 80.32 points, resulting in them falling to eighth.
All Blacks just miss out on second
Over in Auckland, the All Blacks looked set to replace France in second place in the rankings and cut the gap on Ireland to just 1.19 points when they led the Springboks 35-15 with seconds to go. However, Kwagga Smith scored a fine opportunist try to deny New Zealand the more than 15-point margin they needed.
The reigning Rugby Championship title holders looked well set for a handsome victory thanks to brilliant tries from Aaron Smith and the irrepressible Shannon Frizell as well as seven points from the boot of Richie Mo’unga inside the first quarter.
New Zealand turned around with a 20-3 half-time advantage, but the Springboks hung in there and mounted a second-half fightback which brought tries for Malcolm Marx and Cheslin Kolbe before Smith’s late consolation.
The All Blacks, though, secured victory when Will Jordan and Mo'unga both crossed in the final seven minutes.
New Zealand’s rating increased to 90.32 points with the win, leaving them just 0.15 points behind Les Bleus, while South Africa remain in fourth place, still well clear of Scotland in fifth.