Vodacom Super 14
Cheetahs lose in Sydney
Sydney - The Waratahs went to the top of the Super 14 standings with a convincing 40-17 win over the Cheetahs on Saturday.
The Waratahs nudged the defending champions Bulls off the top on points differential after a five tries to two bonus point victory over the struggling Cheetahs.
It was the Waratahs' fifth straight win for the first time since 2008 and continues their steady improvement after losing two of their opening three games.
The Sydney team were always in control of the match played in steady rain and without the services of their injured inspirational skipper and flanker Phil Waugh.
The Waratahs had the game in their keeping at 23-3 by half-time and scored two more tries early in the second half to lead 33-3 before easing off against the toiling Cheetahs.
Former Wallaby prop Al Baxter scored his first Super try in his 100th Super rugby appearance, with others going to Rob Horne, Benn Robinson, Kurtley Beale and replacement scrumhalf Josh Holmes.
Daniel Halangahu chipped in with three penalty goals and two conversions with Berrick Barnes converting Holmes's late effort.
The Cheetahs are still to win in either Australia or New Zealand heading into their fifth season of Super 14.
The South Africans, making their fifth Super Rugby overseas tour, also have yet to win in 19 away games.
The Cheetahs, wallowing in 12th place after seven games, grabbed a couple of late consolation tries through prop WP Nel and reserve Corne Uys.
In contrast it was the Waratahs' 27th win in 34 home matches against South African opposition in Super Rugby, and tunes them up nicely for next weekend's big showdown with the seven-time Super rugby champions Crusaders in Christchurch.
Captaining his province for the first time at Super level, lock Dean Mumm was a standout, while scrumhalf Luke Burgess returned to form with slick service and some big hits in defence.
It gets no easier for the Cheetahs who take on the Brumbies in Canberra next Saturday in the second of their four-match Australasian tour.Teams:Waratahs:
15. Kurtley Beale, 14. Lachie Turner, 13. Rob Horne, 12. Berrick Barnes, 11. Drew Mitchell, 10. Daniel Halangahu, 9. Luke Burgess, 8. Ben Mowen, 7. Chris Alcock, 6. Dave Dennis, 5. Kane Douglas, 4. Dean Mumm (captain), 3. Al Baxter, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1. Benn Robinson
Substitutes: 16. Damien Fitzpatrick, 17. Sekope Kepu, 18. Will Caldwell, 19. Locky McCaffrey, 20. Josh Holmes, 21. Tom Carter, 22. Sosene AnesiCheetahs:
15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Danwel Demas, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Jongi Nokwe, 10. Naas Olivier, 9. Tewis de Bruyn, 8. Ashley Johnson, 7. Barend Pieterse, 6. Hendro Scholtz, 5. Walti Vermeulen, 4. Nico Breedt, 3. WP Nel, 2. Adriaan Strauss, 1. Wian du Preez
Substitutes: 16. Ryno Barnes, 17. Coenie Oosthuizen, 18. Davon Raubenheimer, 19. Kabamba Floors, 20. Sarel Pretorius, 21. Corné Uys, 22. Riaan Viljoen