Cheslin Kolbe on the charge against the All Blacks. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)
- A win, draw or lost bonus point against Australia will be enough for New Zealand to win the 2023 Rugby Championship.
- For the Springboks to win the title, the All Blacks must lose to the Wallabies in Melbourne without taking a bonus point.
- If SA and NZ finish level on points, the All Blacks will take the title because they beat the Springboks.
New Zealand’s 35-20 victory over South Africa in Auckland last weekend left them in the pound seats to win this year’s truncated Rugby Championship.
The annual Southern Hemisphere showpiece is cut short due to it being a World Cup year, with teams meeting only once.
New Zealand, who defeated Argentina 41-12 in Mendoza in their opening match, will clinch the title with a win over Australia in Melbourne on July 29.
The All Blacks are on the march 9 registration points and they have a healthy difference of +44 points. It’s worth noting that they didn’t earn a bonus point against the Springboks despite scoring four tries. Tournament rules stipulate that teams can only earn try scoring bonus points if they score three more tries than the opposition.
The Springboks, with a +16 point difference, are second in the standings with a record 5 points thanks to a 43-12 extra point win over the Wallabies in Pretoria in Round 1.
The Pumas are third with a record 4 points after a last-gasp 34-31 win over the Wallabies in Sydney last weekend.
Rugby Championship Standings:
position, played, won, tied, lost, +-, pts
1. New Zealand 2;2;0;0;44;9
2. South Africa 2;1;0;1;16;5
3. Argentina 2;1;0;1;-26;4
4. Australia 2;0;0;2;-34;1
For the Springboks to win the Rugby Championship, they must hope that the All Blacks lose to the Wallabies. A win and a draw will seal the title for New Zealand.
Even missing out on a bonus point would be enough for the Kiwis to be crowned champions as their victory over South Africa would see them finish first. A missed bonus point would bring New Zealand within 10 points. The Boks can also get to 10 points with an extra points win over Argentina in Johannesburg, but their loss in Auckland would leave them second.
The position in the competition table will be determined by competition points as established:
- In the event that two or more teams are tied in competition points for any position on the competition table, that position will be determined by the team with the most series wins.
- In the event that (a) above does not provide a decision, the position in the competition table will be determined by the team with the most wins against the other team/s tied on the same points.
- In the event that (b) above does not provide a decision, the position in the competition table will be determined on the margin of points for and against in the series. The team with the greatest margin of points scored for and against is considered the winner.
- In the event that (c) above does not provide a decision, the position in the competition table will be determined on the margin of points for and against those competing teams. The team with the greatest margin of points scored for and against is considered the winner.
- In the event that (d) above does not provide a decision, the position in the competition table will be determined on the basis of the team that scores the most tries in the series.
- In the event that (e) above does not provide a decision, the Series will be shared between the two teams.
The Wallabies and Argentina are out of the race for the top spot. Argentina could get to 9 record points with a big win over the Boks, but because they lost to New Zealand, they will still finish second in a scenario where the teams are even on points.