The Rugby Championship 2022 table was turned on its head a fortnight ago, with Argentina going from top to bottom in the space of 80 minutes following their humbling 53-3 defeat to New Zealand.
The All Blacks have replaced Los Pumas at the top of the standings after four rounds as a result of that win with 10 points, one more than South Africa, Australia and Argentina.
The same can be said of the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini, where the positioning of teams has also fluctuated wildly during this most open of Rugby Championships.
Australia, for example, could be up anywhere between sixth and a new record low of ninth when the rankings are officially updated at 12 noon on Monday, depending on the result of their midweek Bledisloe Cup game against the All Blacks and the fixture between Argentina and South Africa in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
If beaten by the All Blacks for a fourth straight match, Australia will sink to ninth, it’s as simple as that. An All Blacks win would not only see them go a long way to successfully defending their title but also promote them up to third in the rankings, above South Africa.
A victory for Australia would send Dave Rennie’s side up to seventh – or sixth if Argentina fail to register a win against the Springboks – while also condemning the All Blacks to fifth.