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Australia surrender No.2 spot to Boks

Date

Liam Napier

Rankings spot on ... Keven Mealamu.

Rankings spot on ... Keven Mealamu. Photo: Getty Images

Johannesburg: South Africa's emphatic five-try victory against Australia in Pretoria last week has catapulted them above the Wallabies into second place on the IRB world rankings.

Not that there were any doubts, but the updated rankings confirm the two best teams in world rugby will go head-to-head in Soweto on Sunday morning (Sydney time).

The Springboks, who surrendered second spot with a quarter-final exit at the World Cup in New Zealand last year, might only hold a narrow four-tenths of a point lead over Robbie Deans's third-ranked side, but the All Blacks feel that truly reflects the state of international supremacy.

''When you look at the performance from last weekend and how dominant the Springboks were, it's a fair indication,'' All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu said.

Australia's first grand slam tour in 25 years now takes on greater importance before the 2015 World Cup pool announcement on December 3.

With the top four teams set to be kept apart in the pool rounds, the Wallabies cannot afford any further losses against the premier nations as they sit just two points above England and France.

Their match against England at Twickenham on November 17 could be pivotal to deciding the World Cup draw.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster felt the change in rankings reminded the world champions their dominance could not be taken for granted.

''Certainly on last week's performance you could say it is [a fair assessment], but let's not forget Australia beat the Springboks in Australia,'' Foster said. ''That just shows how close this championship is. When you see Australia beat South Africa and then the other way around it reminds us about the fine line and never thinking ahead of ourselves.

''We've done that well so far, but this challenge on Sunday is going to test our character and desire to do that again. South Africa are clearly … in great form.''

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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