The All Blacks can’t bear to think about a rare third straight defeat as the Pumas look to “do it for Diego” in Saturday night’s Tri Nations crunch match in Newcastle.
With just one match played over the weekend, things obviously haven’t changed much on the 10 Nations Rugby table this week.
Australia has taken eighth place outright after gaining a point from their real world loss to England and gaining the smallest of boosts to their points differential, with the ranking factor of 7.66 gained for playing the Poms just enough to outweigh the seven points they lost (by giving them an overall +0.66 for the game).
This also ensures they hold their slender lead over France in their simulated match for the time being, who are only one point behind them on ninth, four table points they can therefore ill afford to hand over.
England on the other hand have strengthened their grip on third place with their win and can essentially seal a top three finish if they win, as anticipated, against Argentina this weekend, gaining the five table points with a minimum of another one to come from their real world game the following week.
The battle for number one also resumes this weekend, with South Africa up against Wales and New Zealand taking on France.
South Africa currently hold onto their slender one point lead but have one less match still to be played, so all going to form you would be expecting New Zealand to finish over the top and claim number one.
But a loss to the enigmatic French would cash in that bonus match and their grip on the championship Iced Vo-Vo’s would start to look extremely shaky (although south Africa still have to play the French as well).
The other notable beneficiary from this weekend could be the French.
A decent performance against New Zealand would give their differential a boost as a result of the ranking adjustment factor of 13.84 they’ll get, potentially bringing them closer to Samoa in their simulated match (and possibly also Australia, pending the score in their Italy game).
The current ranking table is unchanged this week and is as follows.
1. South Africa 33
2. New Zealand 32
3. England 30
4. Wales 20
5. Samoa 18
6. Ireland 14
7. Italy 14
8. Australia 12
9. France 11
10. Argentina 4
As always full details of tables and competition structure can be found on the official 10 Nations website.