irb.com 03.Oct.2012Getty Images
The Springboks surrendered second spot to Australia after their Rugby World Cup 2011 quarter final defeat, but the margin of victory at Loftus Versfeld means they now sit four tenths above the Wallabies.
Despite a third loss in five Rugby Championship matches, an injury-hit Australia still sit just over two rating points above England and France and will be desperate to avoid further falls with the top four teams in the rankings to be kept apart in the RWC 2015 Pool Allocation Draw on 3 December.
World Champions New Zealand swept Argentina aside in La Plata to win 54-15 and clinch the title with a round to go, but the result had no impact on their rating given the seven places and 13.09 points they sit above Los Pumas.
The All Blacks’ cushion at the top, though, did increase by one hundredth to 5.82 rating points as a result of South Africa’s five-try victory in Pretoria, Bryan Habana touching down three times in the win.