Can the Springboks still win the Rugby Championship?

Can the Springboks still win the Rugby Championship?

New Zealand are in the pound seats as they look to wrap up the title in this year's shortened Rugby Championship, but the Boks still have an outside chance of snatching the trophy.

In light of it being a World Cup year, the usual round-robin format has been shortened, with teams facing each other only once.

Having already defeated Argentina 41-12 in their opening game, New Zealand need just one more win, this time against Australia in Melbourne on 29 July, to secure the Championship title.

Currently leading the standings with nine log points and an impressive +44 points difference, the All Blacks missed out on a bonus point against the Springboks despite scoring four tries. According to tournament regulations, bonus points for try-scoring can only be earned if a team scores three or more tries than their opponents.

Sitting second on the standings with 5 log points and a +16 points difference, the Springboks earned their bonus point through a convincing 43-12 win over the Wallabies in Pretoria during Round 1.

In third place with 4 log points, Los Pumas secured a dramatic 34-31 victory over the Wallabies in Sydney, giving them a chance to challenge for a higher position.

For the Springboks to snatch the Rugby Championship title from New Zealand, they must rely on the All Blacks losing to the Wallabies, while securing a bonus-point win over Argentina. A win or a draw for New Zealand in their final match would seal the championship for the Kiwis.

However, even if the All Blacks were to suffer a loss, obtaining a losing bonus point would still suffice to crown them champions, given their win over South Africa. This would bring New Zealand's total points to 10.

The Springboks can also reach 10 points with a bonus point victory against Argentina in Johannesburg. However, due to their defeat in Auckland, they would settle for the second spot.

As for the Wallabies and Argentina, their chances of securing the top spot are now out of reach. Argentina could reach 9 log points with a significant victory over the Springboks. Yet, since they lost to New Zealand, they would remain in second place in the event of a tie on points.