Argentina are up to seventh in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings – their highest position since June 2016 – after Saturday’s 33-11 win against Wales in Cardiff.
Having drawn the first test between the teams 20-20 despite playing around an hour of the match with 14 men, the clinical Los Pumas made the most of their scoring opportunities to win the rematch comfortably.
Nicolas Sanchez converted all three of the tourists' tries, scored by Matías Moroni, Tomas Cubelli and Pablo Matera, and kicked four penalties, for an 18-point haul.
Wales scored first through Owen Lane but errors plagued the performance of Wayne Pivac’s young side thereafter.
The reigning Six Nations champions are down to ninth in the rankings after suffering their heaviest-ever defeat to Los Pumas and their first of any kind to the South Americans since 2012.
An epic series between Australia and France ended in Brisbane on Saturday with the 14-man Wallabies winning another thriller, 33-30.
The home side lost Marika Koroibete to a fourth-minute red card and shortly after fellow winger Filipo Daugunu joined him on the sidelines with an arm injury.
But led by the irrepressible Michael Hooper, the Wallabies showed tremendous spirit to match Les Bleus in the try count.
Tate McDermott, Noah Lolesio and Taniela Tupou scored for Australia, while Baptiste Couilloud, Cameron Woki and Pierre-Louis Barassi crossed for the visitors in another memorable match decided by a late Lolesio penalty.
Even though Les Bleus were unable to double-down on their first test victory over the Wallabies in Australia since 1990 five days earlier, they still finish the week one place higher in the rankings in fifth, while Australia drop to sixth.
Samoa and Tonga remain unmoved in the rankings after the former made it through to Rugby World Cup 2023 as Oceania 1 after a 37-15 victory in the second match of the two-legged encounter. Samoa won the first match 42-13 and got through 79-28 on aggregate.
The 1.71 points gained by 13th place Samoa does, however, see them close the gap on Georgia above them to just 0.15. Tonga hold onto 15th place.
In the second game of the day at the FMG Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand defeated Fiji 60-13, Sevu Reece scoring a hat-trick of tries.
Portugal overtake rivals
Meanwhile, in the Rugby Europe Championship RWC 2023 qualifier, Portugal’s impressive form continued with a 49-26 win away to Russia.
Os Lobos’ first win over the Bears in 10 years lifts them above Iberian rivals Spain and up to 19th in the rankings. Spain drop to 20th and Russia fall to 23rd, their lowest position since May 2006.
Hong Kong and Canada benefited from Russia’s defeat by moving up one place, to 21st and 22nd, respectively.
Uruguay’s hard-fought 15-10 win over Chile in the second match of the round-robin Sudamérica Rugby 3 Naciones did not lead to a change in either team’s position in the rankings, with Los Teros still 17th and Chile 28th.
However, results in the Rugby Africa Cup over the course of the week did have a significant impact.
Algeria defied the 18.60-point gap between themselves and hosts Uganda to bounce back from their midweek defeat to Ghana by beating Uganda 22-16 in Kampala.
Uganda drop 10 places to 51st as a result of the setback, while Algeria climb to 90th – one short of their all-time best.
Zimbabwe are unmoved in 34th place after their 101-3 win against Burkina Faso. Their beaten opponents do not lose any points due to the defeat, because of the 19.66-point differential between the teams, but they finish the weekend one place lower after being overtaken by Algeria.