The clinical Crusaders have compounded the NSW Waratahs' woes with a 41-22 Super Rugby win in Sydney.
The unbeaten competition leaders resisted a spirited second-half fightback from the Waratahs to consign Daryl Gibson's men to a fourth loss from six outings in 2017.
The Waratahs once again paid the price for a sloppy defensive display, missing a staggering 24 tackles in the first half alone and leaking two soft tries from lineout losses at Allianz Stadium.
Languishing in third-last spot on the ladder, things do not get any easier for the Waratahs, who travel to Wellington next to take on the defending champion Hurricanes on Friday night.
The 2014 champions will be sweating on Bernard Foley recovering from his ongoing concussion issues despite 21-year-old Mack Mason making a decent enough debut on Sunday.
Apart from a couple of wayward passes, Mason stood up to the Crusaders while forming a greenhorn halves pairing with two-game rookie Jake Gordon.
But a Jona Lomu-like second-half try to destructive winger Taqele Naiyaravoro, after replacing Reece Robinson, was the undoubted highlight on a gloomy afternoon for the Waratahs.
The Crusaders were never headed after winger George Bridge and fullback David Havili crossed in the opening 15 minutes.
NSW captain Michael Hooper briefly reduced the deficit to five points with a try in the 23rd minute, only for the Crusaders to reply with a brilliant counter- attacking effort finished off by centre Tim Bateman.
Trailing 19-10 at halftime, the Waratahs needed to score first after the break.
Instead Bateman brushed off Robinson almost immediately upon the resumption to increase the Crusaders' lead to 16 points.
When Gordon crossed and then Naiyavavora ran straight over Bridge en route to the line in the 53rd minute, Tahs fans had hopes of another miracle comeback win like last week's against the Melbourne Rebels.
Alas, the Crusaders nabbed two late tries to secure a bonus point and consolidate top spot on the table.