The Waratahs claimed their second win on the trot with a 11-7 victory over the Chiefs in a disjointed encounter in Sydney.
In a sloppy encounter tarnished by some awful handling both sides struggled to find any momentum in a shocker of a rugby match.
Both teams failed to create any memorable attacking opportunities and more often then not, any hard work was undone by poor handling. The Chiefs had little in the form of possession, but the Waratahs lacked structure and failed to make use of theirs.
The Chiefs were atrocious at both lineout and scrum time and had it not been for the Waratahs being equally as poor, the New Zealand outfit could have been handed a hiding.
The visitors came close in the 12th minute when Brendon Leonard made a brilliant break and popped the ball off to Callum Bruce but a monster tackle from Will Caldwell brought an end to the attack.
The game finally came to life when flyhalf Kurtley Beale spotted Timana Tahu in space out wide and lofted a beautiful cross-field kick which Tahu claimed with ease and dotted down for the first points of the game. Beale’s conversion attempt just went past the left hand upright and the Tahs led 5-0.
The hosts had a chance to extend their lead in the 21 minute when referee Stuart Dickinson awarded them a penalty after the Chiefs scrum collapsed, but Beale couldn’t find the distance.
The Chiefs then had an opportunity to get right back in the encounter despite their lack of possession when Sitiveni Sivivatu poked through a cheeky grubber but failed to collect it when he looked destined to score.
Just a minute later and the Chiefs finally got on the scoreboard later when Wycliff Palu picked up and ran hard from a scrum deep in his own half, but poor rucking lead to a turnover and Leonard sniped beautifully before being stopped just metres short. The visitors continued to press and big prop Arizona Taumalolo crashed over for the score. Stephen Donald added the extras and from nowhere the Chiefs led 7-5.
Just before the half-time hooter Bruce attempted to extend his side’s lead with an audacious drop goal attempt, but the ball sailed just wide and Chiefs went into the break with a two point lead.
The second-half started in the same vein as the first with the Waratahs enjoying the bulk of the possession and territory, but the Australians yet again lacked the structure and composure to create any real scoring opportunities.
A Waratahs eventually regained the lead when a high tackle from Bruce on centre Rob Horne gave Beale the opportunity to put his in front and finally the flyhalf got one over on his fourth attempt to give his side a one point lead.
The hosts continued to camp in the Chiefs half and Beale extended the lead with a drop goal with just over 20 minutes left in the game.
Both sides continued to give away possession with free-kick after free-kick ruining any quality attacking platform.
The teams returneded to their sloppy blueprint for the rest of the encounter as the Waratahs held on for a far from memorable win.
By Andrew Worling