The Waratahs emerged 22-11 victors against the Stormers on Sunday morning, and in the process sent a warning message to the competition that they weren't one trick ponies.
The Tahs won the game off the back off large possession, field kicking, a dominant scrum and penalty goals. To put it simply, the Waratahs out "South Africa'd" the South Africans. Perhaps the loss at the hands of the Sharks last week provided a wake-up call that a close win was more important than an 'honourable loss," because the Tahs came out looking like they were never going to lose in Cape Town.
Both teams scored one try in the first half, with the Waratahs kicking more accurately to take them into the break leading 10-8. Both teams tried to run the ball in the first half, and while the Stormers continued this in the second half, the Tahs switched to 'serious mode' and focused on phase play.
Off the back of some strong scrummaging, Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale both kicked two field goals in the second half, to push the final score out to 22-11.
As per usual we look at the five most important points from the game:
1. Siyamthanda Kolisi: I thought he was the only bright point in a very poor performance by the Stormers forward pack. I'm now referring to him as 'dragon born' in reference to his namesake Daenerys "Khaleesi" Targaryen. He was fearless in a losing battle and hopefully he will enjoy the new season of Game of Thrones starting this week.
2. Tahs Pack: The much maligned scrum stood up this week and held the opposition accountable. It might not have been the fiercest competition, but it's a start and they laid the platform for a strong win.
3. Kurtley Beale: Played a strong game at full-back and also contributed with two long range field goals. A classy performance by a classy player.
4. Michael Cheika: after a tough week, it was good to see Cheika being wise enough to halt the running 'showboat' rugby in the second half. He is sometimes criticised with being too enamoured with attack, and this week he disproved that.
5. Michael Hooper: It's tough to pick out standout players in such a team performance, but I thought Hooper was great again this week. Constantly there to tackle or take an offload. He's looking more and more like the Tahs next captain every game.
What did you think of the game? Who was your man of the match?