The NSW Waratahs have retained interstate bragging rights with a 10th-straight Super Rugby triumph over the Queensland Reds.
It wasn't pretty, but the Waratahs ground out a 28-17 victory over their arch rivals on Saturday night, the two sides destroying the famous SCG turf in the process.
Curators were almost as busy as the players.
Shovels in hand, repairmen were called on after every scrum to restore the shredded SCG surface that couldn't cope with the two-tonne set pieces on a pitch usually reserved for cricket and AFL.
The historic venue is hosting rugby and A-League games as well due to the demolition of neighbouring Allianz Stadium.
At one point late on, four groundsmen were required to repair a series of gaping holes that would likely leave the Sydney Swans seething ahead of their looming start to the 2019 AFL season.
NSW Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson would not have been impressed either.
Despite the win, Gibson's side leaked two terribly soft first-half tries to Samu Kerevi and Chris Feauai-Sautia, who waltzed through non-existent Waratahs defence.
Pre-season, Gibson nominated defence as the Waratahs' biggest concern after last year's semi-finalists conceded almost 70 tries in 2018 and it remained an issue early in the new season.
Even after the appointment of new defence coach in Welshman Steve Tandy, the Waratahs are being breached too easily to be considered genuine title contenders.
With both sides scoring three tries apiece, it was 13 points from the boot of five-eighth Bernard Foley that proved the difference in front of a disappointing crowd of 15,681 on hand for the conference derby.
Waratahs captain Michael Hooper was happy to escape with the four competition points.
"We haven't really hit our straps yet in attack but we ran some really nice plays there tonight out of our own end," Hooper said.
"I was pleased how we played to the end. That try at the end was a testament to our work rate - really pleased with that win."
The Waratahs' victory was their second from three outings this campaign and consigned the Reds to a worrying none-from-three start.
The Waratahs head to Canberra next week to play the Brumbies, with the Reds off to Tokyo for a must-win clash with the Sunwolves.