Kiwis on top in all phases of Super Rugby
New Zealand might be just across the ditch, but it's a world away in its dominance over the Australian teams in this year's Super Rugby competition.
Despite being in contention for the finals, the Rebels and Waratahs were both exposed by Kiwi franchises on the weekend, the Rebels beaten 36-15 by a rampant Chiefs outfit in Hamilton, and the Tahs losing 29-10 to the Crusaders in Christchurch.
And despite hosting a Blues team beaten 43-5 by the Lions in Johannesburg the previous week, the Western Force went down 17-13 to the team from Auckland.
The results put the Chiefs (42 points) back on top of the Australasian conference, ahead of the Waratahs (30 points) who sit second by virtue of being the leading Australian team.
They are followed by the Crusaders (41), Highlanders (37) and Hurricanes (36), with the Brumbies back on 29 points after having a bye.
After losing to the Crusaders, life doesn't get any easier for the Waratahs who host the Chiefs at Allianz Stadium on Friday night. Scores this season show the gap between the New Zealand teams, and those from Australia and South Africa has widened, 2011 World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry saying recently it was a cause for concern.
"New Zealand sides are a cut above the others, which is disappointing really because you need the other sides strong to have a good competition and increase the interest," he said.
CRUSADERS 29 (McNicholl, Dagg, Mo'unga, Taufua tries; Mo'unga 3 con, pen) WARATAHS 10 (Horne, Guildford tries) in Christchurch
REDS 35 (Browning 2, Slipper, Neville tries; Goromaru 2 con, 2 pen; McIntyre con, pen) SUNWOLVES 25 (Carpenter 2, Moli tries; Pisi 2 con, 2 pen) in Brisbane
CHIEFS 36 (Tamanivalu, Harris, Pulu, Cruden, Horrell tries; Cruden 3 con, pen; McKenzie con) REBELS 15 (Harris, Hodge tries; Harris con, pen) in Hamilton
BLUES 17 (Kaino, Li tries; West 2 con, pen) WESTERN FORCE 13 (Hodgson try; Tapuai con, pen; Prior pen) in Perth
SHARKS 53 (Lambie 2, Jordaan 2, Le Roux, Esterhuizen, Pietersen, Du Toit tries; Lambie 5 con, pen) KINGS 0 in Durban
LIONS 52 (Skosan 2, Combrinck 2, Mapoe, Erasmus, Brink, Kriel tries; Jantjies 2 con; Combrinck con, 2 pen) JAGUARES 24 (Sánchez, Bertranou tries; Iglesias con; Sánchez 4 pen) in Johannesburg
BULLS 17 (Van Zyl try; Brummer 3 pen; Schoeman drop goal) STORMERS 13 (De Allende try; Du Plessis con, 2 pen) at Loftus Versfeld