Having had the wind blown out of their sails by Ireland in Chicago, New Zealand’s near seven-year reign at the top of the World Rugby Rankings is not looking quite so secure.
New Zealand conceded 40 points for only the fifth time in history as inspired Ireland recorded their first ever win over the All Blacks in 111 years of trying.
In what was a superb advert for the game, Joe Schmidt’s men blazed into a 25-8 half-time lead following tries for Jordi Murphy, CJ Stander and Conor Murray, before the All Blacks threatened to pull off one of their infamous second half comebacks.
Tries from TJ Perenara, Ben Smith and debutant Scott Barrett brought the World champions to within four points but Robbie Henshaw’s late try ensured there was to be no repeat of Ireland’s near miss from November 2013.
Steve Hansen’s side are now just a fraction over five points clear of nearest rivals England following the loss of two full rating points. A gain of two rating points has lifted Ireland up one place to fifth place, on 83.67 points.
Argentina have climbed three places to sixth after their convincing 54-20 victory over an experimental Japanese side. Nicolas Sanchez marked his return to the number 10 jersey in style with a personal haul of 29 points, which included two tries.
Ireland and Argentina move above Wales who are now down to seventh spot following their dispiriting 32-8 defeat at the hands of Australia. Australia, in third, have increased their lead over South Africa in fourth to a fraction over two points.
WORLD RUGBY RANKINGS (as of Monday, November 7):
Last week’s positions in brackets –
1(1) New Zealand 94.57 rating points
2(2) England 89.49
3(3) Australia 86.86
4(4) South Africa 84.85
5(6) IRELAND 83.67
6(9) Argentina 81.46
7(5) Wales 80.97
8(7) France 80.75
9(8) Scotland 80.45
10(10) Fiji 75.49