Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson labelled his team "genuine contenders" after their Super Rugby win over Stormers.
A late converted try from Michael Hooper saw Waratahs to a hard-fought 32-30 in Cape Town on Saturday.
That led to high praise from Gibson, who believes his team can challenge for the title.
"We're genuine contenders," he said, via Fairfax Media.
"We've had our struggles, we've gone through that losing period and we're coming out the other side."
Waratahs' thrilling win was in contrast to Hurricanes and Jaguares' victories as they thrashed Lions and Kings respectively.
Lions 17-50 Hurricanes
Lions suffered just their third loss of the season as they were hammered by Hurricanes at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg. Julian Savea and Cory Jane crossed twice for the winners as they ran in seven tries, punishing poor defence by the hosts.
Stormers 30-32 Waratahs
Hooper went over for the crucial try in the 78th minute and Bernard Foley converted as Waratahs snatched a late win in Cape Town. Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau and Rob Horne also scored tries for the visitors, who eventually capitalised on Stormers having Leolin Zas sent off for a dangerous tackle.
Jaguares 73-27 Kings
In a battle between two struggling teams, Argentine side Jaguares ran in 11 tries in their resounding win. Leonardo Senatore scored a hat-trick as Jaguares claimed just the second win in their history. The hosts scored an incredible 40 first-half points to set up their victory.
THE KEY MOMENT
Hooper has been under-fire but delivered for Waratahs at the perfect time. The Australia international powered over under the uprights in the dying stages, leaving it to Foley to add the extras and complete the victory.
"We knew we had to come here and win to give ourselves a chance in the Australian Conference and with that win today we move into a position where we're in contention," Gibson said, via Fairfax Media.
"They've got a lot of big ball runners so we thought the best way to combat that was to attack the ball at source and slow it down and we were able to do both of those, so we were particularly happy with that," Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said.
Waratahs' crucial win moved them to within two points of Australian Conference leaders Melbourne Rebels. Despite their heavy loss, Lions are still clear atop the second African Conference.