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Heroic Pumas fail to secure rankings boost
ESPN Staff
August 27, 2012
Argentina's Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe enters the fray, Argentina v South Africa, Rugby Championship, Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza, Argentina, August 25, 2012
The heroics of Argentina's Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and his team-mates failed to boost their IRB ranking © Getty Images
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Argentina may have made history with a 16-16 draw against South Africa in their Rugby Championship in Mendoza on Saturday but it was not enough to improve their place in the IRB World Rankings.

Los Pumas, who had lost their previous 14 meetings with South Africa, celebrated their home debut in the competition with a battling display for a share of the spoils. However, they will be ruing the one that got away after the Springboks recovered from 13-3 down at half-time and tied up the scores when Francois Steyn touched down following a charge-down. A victory would have seen the Pumas climb one place to 7th in the latest rankings and above Ireland.

The result at the Estadio Mundialista Malvinas Argentinas means that Argentina have now achieved at least a draw with each of the southern hemisphere giants. This latest milestone joins their legendary 21-21 draw with the All Blacks in Buenos Aires in 1985 and their four previous victories over Australia in 1979 (their first meeting), 1983, 1987 and 1997.

New Zealand's advantage at the top of the rankings has increased slightly to 6.38 rating points after a 22-0 victory over Australia at Eden Park ensured another successful defence of the Bledisloe Cup.

It was the first time for 50 years that the Wallabies were kept scoreless by their trans-Tasman rivals and their poor run at Eden Park will now stretch into a 27th year without a victory there over the All Blacks.

Australia's only comfort was the fact that South Africa's failure to beat Argentina means they remain second in the rankings, although that position will be at stake when those two sides meet in Perth on 8 September. Argentina now travel to Wellington where they will tackle New Zealand the same day.

The top four sides in the IRB World Rankings following the end of year internationals will be seeded for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and therefore be kept apart in the pool draw on December 3 in London.

IRB Rankings:
1. (1) New Zealand 92.43
2. (2) Australia 86.05
3. (3) South Africa 84.77
4. (4) England 83.09
5. (5) France 83.03
6. (6) Wales 82.26
7. (7) Ireland 79.85
8. (8) Argentina 79.34
9. (9) Scotland 77.97
10. (10) Samoa 76.23
11. (11) Italy 76.03
12. (12) Tonga 74.79
13. (13) Canada 72.30
14. (14) Fiji 70.60
15. (15) Georgia 67.95
16. (16) Japan 67.93
17. (17) USA 66.61
18. (18) Romania 64.54
19. (19) Russia 62.05
20. (20) Spain 61.63

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