irb.com and James Mortimer 02.Oct.2013Getty Images
The Springboks, who must now beat New Zealand in Johannesburg with a bonus point and deny their visitors a bonus point to win the title, closed the gap by just over three tenths, but still trail the world champions by 3.23 rating points.
However the All Blacks will not concede position at the top of the global rankings this coming weekend at Ellis Park, no matter what happens.
A Springboks win by more than 15 points could close the margin down a tiny margin, while an All Blacks victory would see their gap increase to nearly four ranking points.
Australia’s fourth defeat of The Rugby Championship 2013 means they now sit less than two points above fifth ranked France as they travel to Argentina to face the Pumas in the battle to avoid the wooden spoon.
New Zealand’s 33-15 victory over Argentina in La Plata had no impact on the rating of either team as a consequence of the 15.66 rating points and nine places separating the two nations.
The only match resulting in positional changes to the IRB World Rankings was the European Nations Cup Division 2D encounter between Finland and Greece in Turku on Saturday.
Finland won 35-20 and their reward is to climb off the foot of the rankings – climbing a single place to 99th – with Greece replacing them. Mauritius also climb one place to 98th as a result of Greece’s fall and now sit just under five tenths above Finland.