Tevita Nabura was sent off for a wild kick as the Waratahs ended a 40-match losing streak for Australian sides over New Zealand franchises with a 41-12 thumping of the Highlanders, while the Crusaders and the Sunwolves also claimed Super Rugby wins on Saturday.
Not since May 2016 had an Australian side got the better of a trans-Tasman rival, but the Waratahs ended that hoodoo with a six-try drubbing at Allianz Stadium.
The hosts were eight points to the good following a Taqele Naiyaravoro score when Nabura was given his marching orders for a kung-fu style kick to the face of Cam Clarke as the wing caught a high ball.
Aaron Smith was sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-down two minutes later and Naiyaravoro evaded an attempted tackle from Waisake Naholo to dot down for a second time with the Highlanders down to 13 men, Bernard Foley converting to make it 15-0 at the break.
Israel Folau stole the show in the second half in Sydney, claiming a double of his own to reach the 50-try mark in his 83rd Super Rugby match – only Joe Roff and Christian Cullen achieved that tally in fewer games.
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) May 19, 2018
Owen Franks was cited for striking James Parsons in a hard-fought 32-24 win for the Crusaders over the Blues.
The Sunwolves followed up their rout of the Reds with a 26-23 triumph over the Stormers, Hayden Parker scoring the decisive drop-goal almost four minutes after the siren sounded in Hong Kong.
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