SYDNEY - The NSW Waratahs announced themselves as a force to be reckoned with this Super Rugby season as their star-studded backline exploded on the big stage to crush the Queensland Reds in a record 32-5 romp at ANZ Stadium.
Superstar fullback Israel Folau continued his try-scoring hot streak with a double, while playmaking dynamos Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale mesmerised with the ball to engineer the Waratahs' biggest ever win over Queensland in Super Rugby.
The victory also ended a five-match losing streak for NSW against Queensland.
Labelled "February champions" north of the border this week, perennial under-achievers the Waratahs are now in control of the Australian Conference.
Four tries were scored, but the foundations for a second successive bonus-point victory to start the year were laid by the Waratahs forwards.
Led by South African import Jacques Potgieter and prop Benn Robinson, NSW shrugged aside criticisms of being too slow for Queensland by launching a brutal physical blitz on their Reds counterparts.
The defensive line piled the pressure on Reds generals Quade Cooper and Will Genia like men possessed, and the Waratahs can now put their feet up for a week with a bye before attempting another emphatic statement against last year's grand finalists the Brumbies in a fortnight.
Queensland impressed last week against the Brumbies, but must now go back to the drawing board after meeting their match in Sydney.