BUENOS AIRES – The Waratahs ended Australia's 40-match losing streak against New Zealand rivals by thrashing the Highlanders 41-12 Saturday, while Richie Mo'unga booted the Crusaders back to the top of Super Rugby with a 32-24 victory over Auckland Blues.
Argentina's Jaguares hammered the Bulls 54-24 in Buenos Aires and a last-gasp Hayden Parker drop goal saw Japan's Sunwolves down the Stormers 26-23 in Hong Kong.
Golden Lions beat ACT Brumbies 42-24 in Johannesburg and Coastal Sharks overcame Waikato Chiefs 28-24 in a Durban match riddled with handling errors.
Waratahs scored six tries to two in Sydney to rout Highlanders, who played 61 minutes with 14 men after winger Tevita Nabura was sent off.
The last time an Australian team beat a New Zealand side was just over two years ago when the Waratahs downed the Chiefs.
The Waratahs opened an 8-0 lead after 14 minutes and took complete control once Nabura inexplicably kicked winger Cameron Clark in the head as he leaped for a high ball.
Three minutes later the visitors were down to 13 men after Aaron Smith was yellow-carded.
The Waratahs scored only once while Smith was sin-binned, a second to Taqele Naiyaravoro, but dominated the first half to lead 15-0 at half-time.
Israel Folau scored his 49th and 50th Super Rugby tries early in the second half as Waratahs began to run away with the match.
"The last thing we'd been thinking about (was the losing streak)," Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said.
"We'd been thinking about what we've been doing each week, incrementally building, and we got a good result tonight," he said.
It was four tries apiece in wet Auckland, where penalties made the difference as Crusaders downed Blues to move a point ahead of Wellington Hurricanes.
Crusaders were up 7-0 in the second minute with a try to George Bridge, who created havoc down the left wing throughout.
The impressive Crusaders pack kept Blues on the defensive for most of the first half and they raced to a 29-12 lead at the break.
Blues tightened their defence and focus in the second half to be rewarded with two tries by Michael Collins while the Crusaders, despite dominating territory, were limited to a penalty by Mo'unga, his second of the match.
"Conditions made it tough to play, so we wanted to make sure we played at the right end," Crusaders captain Matt Todd said.
Jaguares made it five victories in a row with a dominant second-half display overwhelming Bulls, who trailed 20-10 at half-time.
Playmaker Nicolas Sanchez scored the first Argentine try and finished with 24 points as the hosts collected their first bonus point of the season.
Another star for the Buenos Aires outfit was young flanker Marcus Kremer, who capped his performance with a try.
Sunwolves have endured some torrid defeats since entering the competition in 2016, but have now won twice in a row for the first time after last week's 63-28 rout of Queensland Reds.
The win over Stormers, their first away from Tokyo, also extinguished the faint play-off hopes of the South Africans.
"We created history today," said Sunwolves coach Jamie Joseph.
"We've had some lean times, no doubt. But really we're headed in the right direction and I think that's really pleasing for the players."
In sweltering conditions for Hong Kong's first Super Rugby game, Sunwolves trailed 17-10 at half-time before Parker stroked them into the lead for the first time with a penalty on 65 minutes.
In the closing 10 minutes, Stormers marksman SP Marais landed two penalties to regain the lead before the Sunwolves struck back with an 80th-minute penalty by Parker and then his post-siren drop goal.
Lions snapped a three-match losing streak in a match settled within three minutes around the hour.
Brumbies lock Rory Arnold was sent off for a shocking tackle on Elton Jantjies having earlier been yellow-carded, and team-mate Sam Carter was sin-binned almost immediately.
Reduced to 13 men for 10 minutes, Brumbies could not contain the home side, whose forwards scored four of their six tries in a bonus-point win.
Sharks won for the third time in four outings against New Zealand opponents this season with Super Rugby leading points scorer Robert du Preez adding 18 to his tally.
But it was a hollow success for Sharks as Chiefs lacked 20 of their squad, including stars Damian McKenzie and Brodie Retallick, due to an All Blacks training camp and injuries.