irb.com and James Mortimer 28.Aug.2012Getty Images
New Zealand have now won 12 Tests in a row, but the world champions have some way to go to beat their record cushion at the top of the IRB World Rankings, 9.41 points on 25 June 2007.
The second highest ranking for the All Blacks was a 8.72 point buffer at the end of 2006.
Argentina may have secured their best ever result against South Africa with a 16-16 draw in The Rugby Championship on Saturday, but it was not enough to improve their position of eighth in the latest IRB World Rankings.
Los Pumas, who had lost their previous 14 meetings with South Africa, have improved their rating by three tenths to close to just over half a rating point behind Ireland above them.
Argentina, though, will be ruing the one that got away in Mendoza 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 first victory over South Africa would have lifted Argentina above Ireland in the rankings.
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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 the sides meet in Perth on 8 September.