Ian Foster’s struggling All Blacks face a new world rankings low if they are beaten for the second successive Saturday at home by Argentina. Micheal Cheika’s Pumas condemned New Zealand to its sixth defeat in eight matches with its 25-18 ambush in Christchurch, an outcome that resulted in the hosts dropping to fifth.
According to World Rugby, who have published its latest preview ahead of Rugby Championship round four, this slippage could now get even worse if the All Blacks fail to respond in Hamilton following a horrible run that has seen them lose three times to Ireland and once to France, South Africa and Argentina.
The rankings permutations outlined by World Rugby in its latest Test match look ahead explained that the out-of-sorts All Blacks could fall to as low as seventh if they are heavily defeated by the Pumas on the same Saturday that the Wallabies record another win over the Springboks.
“Argentina will be the higher ranked of the two teams if they secure back-to-back wins over New Zealand, climbing to fifth and condemning the All Blacks to a new low of sixth. Los Pumas have not been ranked as high as sixth since June 2016,” read the rankings statement.
“New Zealand could fall to seventh in defeat if they lose by more than 15 points and Australia win. If Argentina and Australia both win by more than 15 points, Los Pumas will climb to fourth for the first time since Rugby World Cup 2015.
“New Zealand will climb two places to third if they beat Argentina by more than 15 points and South Africa lose again in Australia. Los Pumas cannot fall lower than seventh, even if beaten by more than 15 points. They could actually climb even in defeat if Australia are also beaten.
“Australia cannot quite catch South Africa in the rankings as even a victory by more than 15 points would see the Wallabies trail by 0.35 rating points. South Africa will fall two places if they lose to Australia and New Zealand beat Argentina. It can also happen if Los Pumas triumph by more than 15 points and South Africa lose by the same margin.
“The Springboks will remain in third if they beat Australia. The Wallabies can fall two places to a new low of eighth if they lose by more than 15 points and Argentina avoid defeat against New Zealand.”