INTERNATIONAL

Australia equal record low in World Rugby Rankings

Australia line-up in a past clash. Photo Courtesy/National World News
Australia line-up in a past clash. Photo Courtesy/National World News

A record 48-17 defeat to Argentina has seen Australia drop to seventh place in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini.

It equals their lowest-ever position, last held between September and November 2018 following another Rugby Championship loss to Argentina.

The result in San Juan led to the Wallabies losing 1.65 rating points and their new total of 81.65 drops them below Scotland, who climb to sixth.

Argentina gained as many points as Australia lost under the points exchange system adopted by the rankings but their new total of 80.97 points is still not enough for them to improve on ninth place.

Los Pumas are now on 80.97 points, leaving them just 0.31 of a point behind Wales in eighth, after a ruthless display that brought them seven tries.

Thomas Gallo grabbed a brace of tries and wingers Juan Imhoff and Emiliano Boffelli, centre Jeronimo de la Fuente, flanker Juan Martin Gonzalez and replacement fly-half Tomas Albornoz also dotted down for the home side.

It was a remarkable result considering Los Pumas lost 41-26 to the same opponents the previous week and smashes their previous best winning margin against the Wallabies of 15 points which was set in 1983 when they won 18-3.

Boffelli converted five of the tries and also slotted a penalty for a personal haul of 18 points.

Australia managed a try in each half from James Slipper and Len Ikitau. Both were converted by James O’Connor who also kicked a penalty.

WIDE OPEN

Before this year’s Rugby Championship kicked off it was widely predicted to be the most open yet and after two rounds that appears to be the case.

Each of the four teams has won one game apiece with Los Pumas in first place on five points but only ahead of Australia on points difference.

The All Blacks are still bottom of the Rugby Championship table, on four points, despite opening their account with a brilliant 35-23 win over South Africa in Johannesburg.

But they have moved up the rankings with the 1.63 points they gained enough for them to reclaim fourth place from England.

Ian Foster’s side are now just two-hundredths of a point behind world champions South Africa, who had beaten them 26-10 in the opening encounter a week ago.

Tries from centre David Havili and second-row Scott Barrett in the closing six minutes, after the Springboks had momentarily taken the lead for the first time, stunned the 61,519 crowd.

New Zealand also started the match strongly with Sam Cane and Samisoni Taukei’aho both crossing the whitewash to ease the visitors into a 15-0 lead.

Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi capped fine displays with a try apiece and those scores together with Handre Pollard’s kicking kept the Springboks in the fight until the All Blacks struck those two late blows.

The Rugby Championship resumes in a fortnight’s time as Australia host South Africa in Adelaide and New Zealand entertain Argentina in Christchurch, with both matches taking place on 27 August.

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