Home is where the defeats are in round of upsets
THE old adage "there's no place like home" certainly didn't apply in the opening round of Super Rugby matches, with six of seven away teams leaving as winners.
The Western Force completed the sequence, upsetting last season's champions the Waratahs 25-15 in Sydney.
It was the Waratahs' first loss in 10 games following an unbeaten run since April last year, and the first time the Force had won its opening game of the season in 10 years.
The Force clearly deserved the win, scoring four tries to two and defending stoutly against an error-prone Waratahs side that showed little fluency and cohesion.
The victory came despite the loss of Wallabies prop Pek Cowan, who was taken off on a medicab with his neck in a brace following a collapsed scrum midway through the first half.
The visitors led 8-3 at half-time, and clinched the win with two tries in the final 20 minutes - one to winger Luke Morahan after a cross-field chip from halfback Alby Mathewson, and the other to Cowan's replacement, Francois van Wyk.
Waratahs winger Rob Horne narrowed the gap with his second try with less than four minutes on the clock.
The result capped a weekend of upsets to open the competition, after the highly-fancied Crusaders, Sharks and Bulls were also beaten.
The Brumbies were the only home side to take the points, thrashing the injury-riddled Queensland Reds.
Round two will open on Friday night with a blockbuster between impressive first-round winners the Chiefs and Brumbies in Hamilton, before the Waratahs take on the Rebels in Melbourne.
ROUND 1 SCORES
REBELS 20 (L Timani, N Stirzaker tries; M Harris 2 con, 2 pen) CRUSADERS 10 (B Funnell try; D Carter con, pen) in Christchurch
BRUMBIES 47 (R Coleman, J Tomane, M Toomua, N White, T Kuridrani, J Dargaville tries; C Leali'ifano 4 con, 3 pen) REDS 3 (K Hunt pen), in Canberra
HURRICANES 22 (T Perenara, M Proctor tries; B Barrett 4 pen) LIONS 8 (R Combrinck try; M Boshoff pen), in Johannesburg
CHIEFS 23 (J Lowe, B Heem tries; D McKenzie 2 con, 3 pen) BLUES 18 (I West 6 pen), in Albany
CHEETAHS 35 (J Cook, F Venter, B Prinsloo, C Wegner tries; J. Pietersen 2 con, 3 pen; W du Plessis con) SHARKS 29 (P Lambie, L Mvovo tries; P Lambie 2 con, 5 pen), in Durban
STORMERS 29 (D Leyds, D Vermeulen tries; D. Catrakilis 2 con, 3 pen; K Coleman pen, field goal) BULLS 17 (D Stegmann try; H Pollard 4 pen), in Pretoria
FORCE 25 (C Alcock, A Cottrell, L Morahan, F van Wyk tries; S. Ebersohn con, pen) WARATAHS 15 (R Horne 2 tries; B Foley con, pen), in Sydney