Waratahs stay in hunt for Super 14 glory
Australian side New South Wales Waratahs climbed four places to fourth on the Super 14 table after a 18-10 win over the Central Cheetahs on Friday.
The bottom-of-the-table Cheetahs started and finished well while squandering try-scoring chances, but the rest of a match in this chilly city was dominated by the visitors.
Waratahs dominance was particularly noticeable in the scrums where loose head Benn Robinson gave opponent Kobus Caldo a torrid time until the Cheetah was replaced late in the second half.
Wallaby Phil Waugh stood out in the loose exchanges on his record 108th appearance for the Sydney-based team, winning numerous turnovers before a sparse Absa Stadium crowd.
Cheetahs reserved their best form this season for the best with the wins in the southern hemisphere championship coming against then leaders Coastal Sharks and title holders Canterbury Crusaders.
However, the blue shirts of title hopefuls Waratahs did not inspire the traditional Super 14 strugglers and their lone try from replacement back JW Jonker came just two minutes from full-time.
A blow for the Australians was the first-half loss of injured Wallaby wing Lote Tuqiri as they face tougher opposition in the Sharks and Golden Lions on the rest of a South African safari.
Record Waratahs try scorer Tuqiri should have scored before his 30th-minute departure when he evaded several tackles and crossed the line only to drop the ball.
Fullback Lachlan Turner translated a monopoly of territory into points after 24 minutes when he cut inside and touched down for a try flyhalf Daniel Halangahu could not convert.
Halangahu kicked a penalty from point-blank range on the stroke of half-time to give the Tahs a 8-0 lead that was cut six minutes into the second half when Cheetahs fly-half Naas Olivier succeeded with a more difficult penalty.
The Waratahs flyhalf failed with another shot at goal before replacement scrumhalf Luke Burgess finished off good work by Tom Carter with a try that Halangahu converted.
Halangahu made it 18-3 six minutes from the end with a penalty and Jonker gave the scoreline a more pleasant appearance for the Cheetahs when he sold a dummy before touching down and Olivier
converted. - AFP