A fifth straight win for South Africa has taken them above Ireland and up to third in the World Rugby Rankings.
Following on from their 37-15 win over Argentina in Port Elizabeth last week, South Africa completed the double over Los Pumas in The Rugby Championship when they recorded an impressive 41-23 victory in Salta on Saturday.
The Springboks’ highest score since they downed the USA 64-0 at Rugby World Cup 2015 was worth 1.15 points, taking them to a total of 85.66 – just under three tenths more than Ireland.
Siya Kolisi scored a brace of tries and fly-half Elton Jantjies contributed 21 points including a try of his own in a match where Argentina’s Tomas Lavanini was sent off for a second yellow card approaching the hour mark.
Los Pumas have only won one of their last eight fixtures and are currently languishing in 10th place in the rankings, on exactly 78 points.
AS YOU WERE AT THE TOP
New Zealand are unchanged, on 95.21 points, at the top of the rankings after withstanding a fearsome challenge from a fired-up Australia.
Stung by the criticism that followed their 54-34 loss to the All Blacks in Sydney in round one, the Wallabies contributed fully to a classic duel in Dunedin and looked set to register their first win over their great rivals since 2015 when Kurtley Beale’s late try gave them a one-point lead.
But New Zealand responded straight from the restart, reclaiming possession before a patient build-up resulted in Beauden Barrett going over for the match-winning score with two minutes remaining.
With 11 points and four places between the sides at kick-off, Bledisloe Cup holders New Zealand did not pick up any reward from a rankings perspective and they remain 5.07 points clear of second-placed England.
HONG KONG GO FORWARD
Hong Kong return home from their tour of Kenya ranked as high as they have ever been after a 43-34 win in the second test in Nairobi on Saturday.
Having picked up 1.15 points, they move up two places to match their previous best of 22nd in the rankings, leapfrogging Germany and Canada in the process, the latter of the two now at an all-time low of 24th. The victory came after a 19-19 draw in the first test six days earlier.
On a fast track at the RFUEA Grounds, Kyle Sullivan scored the first try before being followed over the whitewash in the second half by fellow forwards Dayne Jans, Alex Ng Wai-shing and Matt Lamming, on a day when the Hong Kong pack dominated the host nation upfront.
Matt Rosslee, who made his Hong Kong debut at the same ground a year ago, was flawless on the afternoon, kicking 23 points from five penalties and four conversions.
Kenya showed great spirit and no little skill to fight back from 33-6 down to close to within nine points of the visitors but Hong Kong’s forward strength told in the end. The Simbas slip two places to 27th in the world with Portugal and Belgium the beneficiaries.
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