Sydney’s Waratahs earned their first victory over the Crusaders with a 20-12 Super rugby victory at the SCG in Sydney.
The Waratahs outscored the Crusaders by three tries to two in a match they led throughout the contest.
The victory ends a three match losing streak to the Super rugby champions from Christchurch. The Crusaders had won 14 of the last 16 matches between the sides.
The result ends the Crusaders unbeaten run of 19 matches which is the new record of consecutive wins in Super rugby.
Conditions played a role in the result as rain fell before and during the contest in parts which led to numerous uncharacteristic handling errors for the Crusaders.
The Waratahs also struggled with holding on to the slippery ball but not nearly as much as the Crusaders who also passed several balls out into touch on attack.
The match was the first time that the Crusaders had played since their home town had been rocked by the Christchurch mosque massacres.
Their match last week against the Highlanders was cancelled and deemed a draw so technically their winning run came to an end a week ago.
Before the match kicked off there was a minute’s silence as a show of solidarity for those who died last week.
The only real highlight of the match that followed was star Wallabies fullback Israel Folau equalling the all-time Super Rugby try record.
Folau scored his 59th try in the 73rd minute which makes him level top try scorer with Doug Howlett who played for the Highlanders, Hurricanes and Blues between 1997-2007.
The Crusaders were playing with armbands with the words “United 15-03-2019” but without the experienced Owen Franks and Kieran Reid.
The Waratahs got an almost perfect start to the match when Jed Holloway powered through two tackles and raced for the line to score between the posts after just three minutes.
Eight minutes later the Waratahs scored again when Folau won a ball in the air and passed to Cameron Clark who burned the Crusaders backs for pace on his way to the tryline.
The Crusaders pulled a try back when George Bridge sliced through the defence after the visitors won a line out.
Bernard Foley put the Waratahs further into the lead at 15-7 just before the break.
Folau’s try in the 73rd minute put the match beyond doubt and Will Jordan scored a consolation try at the end.
While the Waratahs will be happy with the result neither side will be happy with their performance.
Next week the Crusaders travel to Wellington where they will face the Hurricanes while the Waratahs host the Sunwolves in Newcastle.
Final Score Waratahs 20 (15) Crusaders 12 (7)
Tries – J.Holloway, C.Clark, I.Folau
Pen – B.Foley
Con – B.Foley
Tries – G.Bridge, W.Jordan
Con – B.Cameron
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 2:Egon Seconds
TMO : Ian Smith
15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes
Replacements 16 Andrew Tuala, 17 Rory O’Connor, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Lachlan Swinton, 20 Michael Wells, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Mack Mason, 23 Karmichael Hunt
1. Harrison Allan , 2. Codie Taylor , 3.Michael Alaalatoa , 4. Quinten Strange, 5. Sam Whitelock (C) , 6. Jordan Taufua , 7. Matt Todd (VC) , 8. Whetukamokamo Douglas , 9. Bryn Hall, 10. Brett Cameron , 11. George Bridge , 12. Ryan Crotty (VC) , 13. Jack Goodhue , 14. Braydon Ennor , 15. David Havili
Replacements : 16. Andrew Makalio ,17. Isileli Tuungafasi , 18. George Bower , 19. Luke Romano, 20. Tom Sanders ,21. Ereatara Enari ,22. Mitchell Hunt, 23. Will Jordan