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International Rugby
South Africa close in on New Zealand in rankings
ESPN Staff
September 9, 2013
Jean de Villiers' South Africa will tackle New Zealand in Auckland this weekend © Getty Images

South Africa's historic 38-12 victory over Australia in Brisbane on Saturday saw them close the gap on Rugby Championship title rivals New Zealand in the latest IRB World Rankings.

South Africa's first win in Brisbane for more than 40 years has seen them cut New Zealand's cushion from 4.35 rating points to 2.7 ahead of the meeting between the two sides at Eden Park in Auckland this weekend.

Like South Africa, New Zealand are also unbeaten in the latest battle for southern hemisphere supremacy but the 28-13 win over 10th ranked Argentina had no impact on their rating of 91.64, a result of the 15.23 rating points separating the two teams before kick-off in Hamilton.

A third successive defeat in the competition means Australia have seen their advantage over fifth-ranked France reduced to just over two rating points and leaves the Wallabies in danger of slipping another place to equal their lowest position since the rankings were introduced in October 2003.

IRB World Rankings: (September 9, 2013)
1. (1) New Zealand - 91.64
2. (2) South Africa - 88.94
3. (3) England - 85.76
4. (4) Australia - 83.67
5. (5) France - 81.59
6. (6) Wales - 81.36
7. (7) Samoa - 80.42
8. (8) Ireland - 79.58
9. (9) Scotland - 76.95
10. (10) Argentina - 76.41

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