They started by losing their cool in the heat but the NSW Waratahs were red-hot by the end in a 57-12 Super Rugby win over the Sunwolves in Tokyo on Saturday.
The nine-tries-to-nil win meant the Waratahs kept pace with the Brumbies at the top of the Australian conference with two rounds remaining.
The bonus-point victory brought NSW level on points with the Brumbies, who also picked up the full five points with victory over Queensland on Friday night and remain top by virtue of having nine wins to the Waratahs' eight.
NSW initially looked a little rusty and were scrappy in the opening quarter of the match played in over 30C heat.
The Tahs superior execution, ability to offload and good support play proved decisive as they recovered from an early 9-7 deficit.
Halfback Matt Lucas and winger Reece Robinson both bagged two tries for NSW, who blossomed as the match progressed.
Outside centre Israel Folau, Lucas and five-eighth Bernard Foley manufactured plenty of opportunities on the back of strong forward play, with the Sunwolves guilty of falling off too many one-on-one tackles.
Captain and openside flanker Michael Hooper revealed it needed some stern words for his side to get back on track after they struggled for cohesion in their first match for over a month.
"(We) probably did some things that were uncharacteristic of the team, so the conversations were quite full on," Hooper said.
"We did probably lose our cool out there a bit initially, so for us it was about going back to what we know we're good at, what we know we need to do to get the performance we want.
"The leaders of the team did a really good job in driving those towards the back end of the first half."
The enterprising Sunwolves enjoyed an early edge in possession and capitalised on some poor discipline by the Tahs to lead 9-7.
One of their three early penalties was a massive 57m effort from South African back Riaan Viljoen, while Waratahs winger Taqele Naiyaravoro was sin-binned in the first half for taking out a kick-chaser.
Converted tries to Lucas and flanker Jack Dempsey gave the Waratahs a 14-9 advantage and they asserted themselves in the period leading up to the break.
Folau, who produced another classy effort in his new role and his successor at fullback Andrew Kellaway, each beat several defenders to score tries, as the Waratahs opened up a 26-12 buffer by halftime.
Robinson's two five-pointers in three minutes just after the break put the Waratahs out of sight.
Tries to Lucas, reserve back Matt Carraro and Naiyaravoro blew out the gap.
"At times we were a little bit rusty as we expected coming back together off a break," Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said.
"I'm pleased that by the end of the game we really started to get some flow and scored some excellent tries."
Lucas rolled an ankle and Gibson said he could be out for one to two weeks.