All Blacks drop to their lowest point in world rankings


England have poked their nose ahead of the All Blacks in the world rugby rankings, in which beleaguered Ian Foster’s side are now lying fifth.

The Springboks’ margin of victory at Mbombela proved crucial, sending the All Blacks to their lowest ever ranking point.

Under the world ranking system, there is an extra penalty if the margin of victory exceeds 15 points.

So the 26-10 result has left the All Blacks at an all-time low, parked behind Ireland, France, South Africa and England.

It is a position almost unimaginable when the All Blacks were riding high under Steve Hansen.

Their previous low points have come after losing the World Cup semifinal in 2003 and their first loss to Argentina in late 2020.

The All Blacks were ranked number one from 2010 to late 2018 under the system which was introduced in 2003.

Teams tread a fine line though – had the All Blacks won they would have overtaken South Africa.

Five defeats in the last six tests is the statistic that will loom largest in many people’s minds, as coach Ian Foster looks to cling to his job.

But the ranking is a way of giving the All Blacks’ current decline some historical perspective.

A Wales Online headline put it: “Dominant South Africa compound New Zealand’s misery as All Blacks drop to all-time low.”

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