New Zealand have increased their advantage at the top of the World Rugby Rankings to six full ratings points after their convincing 41-13 win over Australia in Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup decider in Auckland.
The All Blacks gained revenge for their defeat at the hands of the Wallabies in Sydney the week before to make it the perfect evening for captain Richie McCaw who was playing in his 142nd test, a word record.
New Zealand’s victory saw their rating boosted by 0.17 of a point, putting them on 92.89 points – exactly six ahead of second-placed Ireland who had to dig deep to beat Scotland 28-22. Ireland’s ranking remains unchanged, on 86.89 points, 0.22 of a point in front of Australia in third.
England managed to hold off a second-half fightback from France to retain fourth place, improving their rating points slightly to 85.53 in the process.
South Africa are hot on their heels, however, having put the disappointment of their first ever defeat to Argentina to one side with victory over Los Pumas in Buenos Aires seven days later.
The Springboks gained 0.78 of a point to move on to 85.15 points, meaning the sides placed between second and fifth in the rankings are covered by less than two points.
Newly-crowned Africa Cup champions Namibia remain 20th in the rankings after Zimbabwe were soundly beaten 80-6 in Windhoek.
Flanker and captain for the day, Rohan Kitshoff scored three tries and was named man of the match as Namibia retained the Africa Cup title they won last year with their biggest score against the Sables.