Town - Defeat against the Springboks at
Loftus on Saturday will see New
Zealand's lead at the top of rugby's world rankings
Regardless of the result in
Pretoria, New Zealand will stay top, but if they lose then their lead over
second-ranked Ireland will be cut to almost nothing.
The All Blacks are currently top
of the rankings with 92.52 points,
while Ireland are second with 90.12 after
a series win against the Wallabies in June.
If the All Blacks lose by 16
points or more, they will slip down to 90.18 points to be just marginally ahead
A one-point win for the Boks,
meanwhile, will see New Zealand drop to 90.96 points.
It means that defeat on any kind
for the All Blacks on Saturday will put Ireland in striking distance of
claiming top spot ahead of the end-of-year internationals in the northern hemisphere
The All Blacks have some tough
fixtures on that tour, taking on England and Ireland in back-to-back
The match against Ireland will be
played in Dublin on November 17.