World rankings: All Blacks drop to fifth as freefall continues

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

The All Blacks have dropped to fifth in the world rankings following their 26-10 defeat to the Springboks in their Rugby Championship opener in Nelspruit on Saturday.

It is New Zealand’s fifth loss in only six matches and worsens their all-time low ranking from fourth to fifth as their score of 86.13 drops them below England.

Three losses in a row

The poor performance in Nelspruit means the All Blacks have lost three Tests in a row for the first time in 24 years, and the pressure is firmly on coach Ian Foster whose position is under further scrutiny this week.

The world champion Springboks remain in third on 89.40 points, with France ahead by the smallest of margins in second place.

The Nelspruit clash saw complete dominance from the South Africans, who put the All Blacks away in most facets of the game. Willie le Roux and Kurt-Lee Arendse scored tries whilst the rest of the points were added from the boot of fly-half Handre Pollard, including a well-taken drop-goal.

No movement elsewhere

The Wallabies and Los Pumas have not changed positions and sit sixth and ninth respectively after the Australians triumphed 41-26 in an interesting clash in Mendoza.

Argentina slumped to a sub-80 points score in the rankings after their loss.

Head coach Michael Cheika will be frustrated after his side controlled the game well for the opening 50 minutes before discipline once against cost Los Pumas and allowed a Wallabies response, led by a pivotal try from flank Fraser McReight who was sublime on the day.

Round Two of the Rugby Championship will again offer a difficult challenge for the All Blacks, who will face the Springboks at the historic Ellis Park in Johannesburg. Foster will be hoping to stop his side’s freefall down the world rankings as the Wallabies threaten to leapfrog the New Zealanders.

Meanwhile, Australia continue their tour of Argentina when they play Los Pumas in San Juan and will look to make it a clean sweep against Cheika’s men.

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