The Waratahs moved into second place in the Australian Super Rugby Conference by beating the Cheetahs 21-6 in Sydney.
A bonus point victory would have put the Waratahs ahead of the Brumbies in the Australian Conference but they were unable to score the third try.
The Waratahs almost scored the bonus point try in extra time but the TMO ruled that a pass in the build up was forward and the try was disallowed.
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Although the Waratahs have a better points differential to the Brumbies the Canberra side have one more win so they remain above the Sydney side.
The Waratahs outscored the Cheetahs by two tries to none in an error-ridden clash.
The victory is the Waratahs third in a row after wins against the Force and Stormers on tour and their second in a row against the Cheetahs.
The Wartatahs have now played 9 matches and won 5 while the loss is the Cheetahs eighth of the season from 10 matches played.
“It was a tough game, back and forth, back and forth,” Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said.
“But we shut them out and had no tries scored against us for the first time this year, so it was a really huge effort in that regard.”
The Waratahs always looked in control against a disappointing Cheetahs, who made five changes to the side that lost to the Reds last week.
Three of those were in the front row, but that move backfired as the Cheetahs scrum struggled badly throughout the first half.
The visitors opened the scoring after just three minutes with a penalty to Fred Zeilinga, but the Waratahs hit back with two of their own from Bernard Foley.
Despite being under huge pressure the Cheetahs were hanging in for much of the first half, but two tries in seven minutes to winger Reece Robinson and Foley put the home side in control at the break 18-6.
Foley kicked his third penalty three minutes after the restart and the Waratahs looked like running away with the match.
But the Waratahs appeared to fatigue badly after flying home from South Africa during the week and they couldn’t secure the crucial third try.
Cheetahs captain Francois Venter said his young team was building for next year.
“I’m proud of the guys, they were always fighting hard,” he said.
“There’s a lot of our guys who are on tour for the first time. It’s always difficult to travel and we must adapt for next year.
“We’re still building a team and hopefully we can do better.”
Next week the Waratahs host the Bulls in Sydney while the Cheetahs return home to Bloemfontein where they will host the Kings.
Final Score Waratahs 21 (18) Cheetahs 6 (6)
Tries -R. Robinson, B.Foley
Pen – B.Foley 3
Con – B.Foley
Pen – F.Zeilinga 2
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1:Andrew Lees
Assistant Ref 2:Graham Cooper
TMO : George Ayoub
Attendance : 15 097
1. Paddy Ryan , 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau , 3. Tom Robertson , 4. David Dennis (VC) 5. Will Skelton, 6. Dean Mumm, 7. Michael Hooper (C) 8. Wycliff Palu, 9. Nick Phipps, 10. Bernard Foley , 11. Rob Horne , 12. Kurtley Beale , 13. Israel Folau , 14. Reece Robinson , 15. Andrew Kellaway ,
Replacements:16. Hugh Roach , 17. Jeremy Tilse, 18. Angus Ta’avao , 19. Sam Lousi , 20. Ned Hanigan , 21. Matt Lucas, 22. David Horwitz, 23. Matt Carraro,
1. Ox Nche , 2. Elandre Huggett , 3. Luan de Bruin , 4. Carl Wegner , 5. Francois Uys (vc) , 6. Willie Britz , 7. Oupa Mohoje , 8. Henco Venter , 9. Tian Meyer , 10. Fred Zeilinga , 11. Raymond Rhule , 12. Francois Venter (C) , 13. Nico Lee , 14. Sergeal Petersen , 15. Clayton Blommetjies
Replacements: 16. Torsten van Jaarsveld , 17. Charles Marais , 18. Maks van Dyk , 19. Lodewyk de Jager , 20. Uzair Cassiem , 21. Shaun Venter , 22. Niel Marais , 23. Michael van der Spuy