Rassie Erasmus (Getty Images)
Cape Town – The Springboks have moved above England into fourth place in the World Rugby rankings following their last-gasp draw against the All Blacks in Wellington.
Handre Pollard’s injury-time conversion at the Westpac Stadium earned South Africa a 16-16 draw against New Zealand – as well as one rating point in the rankings.
By improving their rating to 86.30 points, South Africa overtook England and moved into fourth place in the rankings with a gap of just three-hundredths of a point between the sides.
The other Rugby Championship match was another low-scoring affair with Christian Lealiifano marking his return to the Test arena after a successful battle against leukaemia with three penalties and the conversion of Reece Hodge’s first half try.
Facundo Isa got a late try for Los Pumas who at least left the Suncorp Stadium with a losing bonus point in a 16-10 defeat.
The Wallabies picked up just under a quarter of a rating point for their victory to cement their position in sixth place in the rankings, while Argentina are still in 10th despite their second narrow defeat in as many weeks.
Japan are unchanged in 11th, but with an improved rating of 76.21 points following their 34-21 win over the higher-ranked Fiji in the opening round of the Pacific Nations Cup in Kamaishi. Fiji hang on to ninth place despite the loss.
Tonga’s 25-17 defeat to Samoa in monsoon-like conditions in Apia cost them 1.13 points and, as a result, they drop down to 14th place with Italy the side to benefit. Samoa remain in 16th place behind the USA who did not get any reward for their 47-19 home win over Canada, also in the Pacific Nations Cup.
In Africa, the second round of the Victoria Cup brought a clean sweep of away wins for Zimbabwe, Kenya and the Ivory Coast.
Only Zimbabwe, however, were able to improve their position in the rankings with their 31-26 victory against Uganda boosting their points total to 50.54 – enough to take them above Lithuania and into 35th position.
Kenya defeated Ghana 43-23 in Lusaka with Andrew Amonde scoring twice for the Simbas. There were also tries for two other players more readily associated with the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Jacob Ogee and Billy Odhiambo as well as props Curtis Lilako and Griffin Musila and centre Johnstone Munga.
The seven-hundredths of a point gained in victory was not enough to lift Kenya any higher than their present position of 32nd.
The final match of the weekend saw Ivory Coast beat Ghana 22-12 with the sides staying in 43rd and 90th respectively.
Top 20 in the latest World Rugby rankings:
1. New Zealand 91.54
2. Wales 89.96
3. Ireland 88.69
4. South Africa 86.305. England 86.27
6. Australia 81.91
7. Scotland 80.17
8. France 79.42
9. Fiji 76.98
10. Argentina 76.81
11. Japan 76.21
12. Georgia 74.42
13. Italy 72.04
14. Tonga 71.89
15. USA 71.71
16. Samoa 69.90
17. Spain 68.15
18. Romania 66.69
19. Uruguay 65.18
20. Russia 64.81
23. Namibia 61.01
32. Kenya 52.32
35. Zimbabwe 50.54