Setback: Waratahs winger Peter Betham has a possible ankle injury.

Setback: Waratahs winger Peter Betham has a possible ankle injury. Photo: Getty Images

Cape Town: Waratahs coach Michael Cheika says Australia is shaking off its "poor cousin" tag in Super Rugby with a more aggressive shop front in the tri-nations tournament.

As the Waratahs savoured their first win in Cape Town since 2006 to join the Brumbies and Force in the top six, Cheika said Australian teams were finally playing as if they really wanted to compete in the southern hemisphere competition.

"I like what I've seen from the teams so far this year – [they are] more hungry to be involved in the contest," he said.

"We've probably been the poor cousin of the SANZAR triumvirate for a while and it's about time we started to get into it a little bit more.

"That's not to say that we're going to win but at least make ourselves present and say 'we're going to have a go here' and get stuck in.

"It will be seen at the end of the season and who is in the finals but so far it's quite competitive."

The Waratahs joined the Crusaders at the weekend to become the only teams so far this season to win after making the trip across the Indian Ocean to either South Africa or New Zealand and Australia.

Their 22-11 win against the beleaguered Stormers was an impressive response to last week's brutal loss to the Sharks in Durban. It also puts them on an equal footing with the Brumbies at the top of the Australian conference.

Cheika was pleased but realistic about the significance of the away win.

"In a season where it seems the ledger of home-and-away wins is going to be quite important, any away win you get is going to be quite valuable," he said.

"To be fair to the Stormers, I think we got them at just the right time. They've come back from a long tour, they're missing several key players and we were a week into our three weeks so we were all feeling sharp.

"So I think we have to be realistic around that too, but we took advantage of the situation, put them under a bit of pressure and were able to come away with something."

The price of victory will be known in coming days, with four players in doubt for the side's derby clash with the Force.

Most serious of the injuries appeared to be a possible ankle injury to winger Peter Betham.

Winger Alofa Alofa bruised a knee but was considered a less serious prospect than his wing partner Betham.

Matt Carraro was taken off with a deep cut to the side of his head, which will be monitored. And prop Sekope Kepu had to have an ankle strapped for the match. It was not immediately clear how serious the injury was.

The Waratahs will welcome back Israel Folau and Wycliff Palu from injury, as well as Rob Horne, who served a one-week suspension.

Folau's return will not come a moment too soon in light of the momentum gathering behind the Western Force.

But the Waratahs’ attack was as pleasing in its patience without Folau as it was in its brilliance with him.

"Without going too far away from our attacking game, which I don't think we did, one of the big things we wanted to do was build pressure," Cheika said.

"We knew the Stormers were under a little bit of pressure so [we were] trying to build a bit of pressure around keeping the ball in that part of the field instead of going for that one extra pass that we're guilty of sometimes at scrum and at line-out.

"[We wanted to show] empathy for the situation on the field [and] try to manoeuvre that in our favour."