Australian win the key to rankings change

(IRB.COM) Thursday 22 August 2013
 
 Australian win the key to rankings change
Matt Burke scored most of Australia's points in their last win over the All Blacks on home soil

Australia have not beaten the All Blacks on home soil since 2001, but if they can avenge their opening Rugby Championship defeat and taste victory in Wellington then the Wallabies could rise to second in the IRB World Rankings.

Ewen McKenzie’s side slipped to fourth after last weekend’s loss in Sydney, but will regain at least one place with victory over the defending champions at Westpac Stadium. Whether they climb to second will depend on the outcome in Mendoza where Argentina host South Africa.

If Australia and South Africa win by similar margins then the Wallabies will climb to second, but if the Springboks were to win by more than 15 points and their rivals not, then Australia’s climb would just be a single place.

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World champions New Zealand can only improve their rating as the number one side in the rankings by a maximum of 13 hundredths, even with another emphatic victory over the Wallabies to retain the Bledisloe Cup, a trophy they have held since 2003.  

However, a loss by more than 15 points could see their cushion at the top shrink from the current 4.52 rating points to just four tenths and leave the southern hemisphere triumvirate separated by just 1.26 points if the Springboks win comfortably in Mendoza.

South Africa recorded their biggest ever win over Argentina last weekend – 73-13 – and will not be complacent as they seek to maintain their record of never losing to Los Pumas. If Argentina can bounce back, though, they will climb above Scotland to ninth.

The consequences of a New Zealand and Argentina victory will be that England climb to second, a position they haven’t held since late 2004, with South Africa potentially dropping as low as fourth.

Regional focus

Away from The Rugby Championship, there are four other matches that can impact the IRB World Rankings this weekend, the Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifier between Canada and USA in Toronto, the climax of the Asian Tri Nations between hosts Singapore and Chinese Taipei and the opening two matches of the South American B Championship in Paraguay.

Canada will take an 18-point advantage into the second leg of the play-off to determine the Americas 1 qualifier for England 2015 and another victory will see no change to their rating or 14th position.

However, anything else will see the Canucks slip back behind Japan and lift the USA Eagles at least one place, above Romania. A win by more than 15 points would also lift them above Georgia, although they will hope for at least 19 points to avoid the Americas 2 play-off with Uruguay.

Hong Kong A have already won the inaugural Asian 5 Nations tournament but hosts Singapore will hope to finish on a high by beating Chinese Taipei , an outcome which would lift them two places to 56th in the latest rankings and condemn their visitors to a fall of between three and five places.

A loss, though, and Chinese Taipei will climb above them in the rankings. Chinese Taipei can climb as many as three places to 53rd with an emphatic victory and condemn their opponents to a four-place slide to 62nd.

Paraguay are the highest ranked side in the South American B Championship in 38th and victory over Peru in Asunción on Sunday will have no impact, a consequence of their opponents lying 34 places below them. A loss, though, and Peru could jump 10 places and Paraguay slide as many as eight.

Colombia and Venezuela are much closer together with only four places separating them. The Colombians are the higher ranked in 59th and any margin of victory would lift them three places, with Venezuela falling by at least that figure.

However, a Venezuelan victory will see them become the higher ranked of the two rivals, climbing between two and four places. In fact, if Venezuela were to win by more than 15 points, the two sides would simply swap places.

The IRB World Rankings update every Monday at 12:00 UK time.