After a weekend that saw the sport's heavyweights slug it out, the latest IRB world rankings show it's very much round one to the Southern Hemisphere.
Victories for New Zealand, Australia and South Africa at the weekend mean those three sides not only retain the top three places in the standings, but they have opened the gap further on the leading teams from north of the equator.
Their respective opponents - Ireland (eighth place), Wales (fifth) and England (fourth) - stay as they were, leaving Scotland as the flag-bearers for the Northern Hemisphere.
The Scots' 9-6 win over the Aussies in Newcastle earlier in the week translates as a one-place move up the table to 11th - at the expense of Italy, who suffer for their defeat by Argentina in San Juan.
The table-topping All Blacks' points stayed unchanged (91.43), while the Wallabies lost 1.57 rankings points (now at 86.42), while the Springboks gained 0.63 raking points (up to 84.97).
It also means the gap between the top three - NZ, Aus and SA - increased by 1.20 ranking points (0.78 to 1.98), as England lost 0.63 points.
The Pumas' South American neighbours, Uruguay, are the big fallers in Monday's rankings, dropping from 19th to 22 after defeat by Romania in Bucharest.
The home side's margin of victory in the Nations Cup fixture - 29-9 - exacerbated Uruguay's drop as any difference of 16 or more compounds points lost through defeat itself.
In Tokyo, IRB Pacific Nations Cup action caused a shake-up on the edge of the world top ten.
Japan suffered another reverse after their defeat by Fiji early in the week, losing 20-24 to Tonga. Japan therefore drop to 16th after starting the week in 14th place.
Samoa, who defeated Tonga early in the week, continued their good form by beating Fiji 29-26 - a win that moves them up a place to displace Tonga in ninth.
All but two of the world's top 20 sides were in action, and during 2012 any week with so many IRB World Rankings-relevant matches are especially important.
In December the standings will determine the seeding for the 12 automatic qualifiers at the 2015 World Cup, with the top four nations at the end of the year guaranteed separate pools.
If the draw were made now, for instance, host nation England (fourth in the world) would avoid being in the same pool as one of the southern hemisphere top three.
The top 20 on the IRB rankings (last week's position in brackets):
1(1) New Zealand 91.43
2(2) Australia 86.42
3(3) South Africa 84.97
4(4) England 82.99
5(5) Wales 82.89
6(6) France 81.91
7(7) Argentina 80.36
8(8) Ireland 79.85
9(10) Samoa 77.23
10(9) Tonga 76.19
11(12) Scotland 75.86
12(11) Italy 74.08
13(13) Canada 72.92
14(15) Georgia 70.26
15(16) Fiji 69.91
16(14) Japan 68.34
17(17) United States 65.63
18(18) Romania 64.54
19(20) Spain 61.63
20(21) Namibia 61.24
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