Cape Town - From the high of beating the Crusaders to the low of losing to the Sunwolves six days later. That's the reality for the Waratahs, Australia's top team this Super Rugby season.
As it happened: Waratahs v Sunwolves
Having beaten the nine-time champion Crusaders 20-12 last Saturday in Sydney, the Waratahs came crashing back to Earth in sensational fashion at the little-known McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle on Friday.
The Sunwolves, who have been axed from the tournament from 2021 onwards, won 31-29 after leading 17-15 at half-time.
The Sunwolves scored four tries thanks to a hat-trick by Fijian wing Semisi Masirewa and a try by South African lock Grant Hattingh. New Zealand flyhalf Hayden Parker once again was superb in marshalling the backline - and at kicking at posts - landing all four conversions as well as a penalty.
The Waratahs replied with four tries of their own by scrumhalf Nick Phipps, wing Cam Clark, flank Michael Hooper and centre Kurtley Beale. Pivot Mack Mason added two conversions and a penalty, while Beale also added a conversion.
The Sunwolves picked up four points for their victory, but stayed bottom of the Australian Conference. They did however move up to 13th in the Overall standings.
The Waratahs picked up a single point for losing by seven or fewer points and stretched their lead atop the Australian Conference and consolidated their third spot in the Overall log.
In next weekend's Round 8 action, the Sunwolves travel to Melbourne to face the Rebels (Saturday, April 6 at 10:45 SA time), while the Waratahs visit Eden Park in Auckland to play the Blues (Saturday, April 6 at 08:35 SA time).
Waratahs 29 (15)
Tries: Nick Phipps, Cameron Clark, Michael Hooper, Kurtley Beale
Conversions: Mack Mason (2), Beale
Sunwolves 31 (17)
Tries: Grant Hattingh, Semisi Masirewa (3)
Conversions: Hayden Parker (4)
15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Karmichael Hunt, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Mack Mason, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Tuala, 17 Rory O’Connor, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Tom Staniforth, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 John Folau
15 Ryohei Yamanaka, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Harumichi Tatakawa, 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, 7 Dan Pryor (captain), 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Grant Hattingh, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Pauliasi Manu
Substitutes: 16 Nathan Vella, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Takuya Yamasawa, 23 Josh Timu