World champions Australia are poised to add the Quad Series title to their trophy collection after they obliterated the Silver Ferns 68-48 in Sydney to practically avenge New Zealand's historic Constellation Cup series win last month.
Australia were dominant from the opening centre pass - which was turned over by the New Zealanders, a pointer to the record thumping about to unfold at Allphones Arena.
The Diamonds 68 goals represents a new all-time high in tests against New Zealand, erasing the 67 they amassed in 1992.
They held a double-digit buffer at the end of each term as they inflicted the Ferns worst trans-Tasman defeat since a 23-goal drubbing at Newcastle in 2000.
A one-sided contest before a crowd of 13,000 means it is virtually impossible for New Zealand to claim the series despite enjoying home court advantage for the remainder of the tournament.
New Zealand simply had no answer to the full-court pressure applied by the Australians, who never skipped a beat when captain Natalie von Bertouch retreated with a leg injury late in the opening term.
Even the introduction of Casey Williams and Irene van Dyk at the start of the second quarter could not stem the tide as Australia issued the most emphatic of statements.
It was no surprise that Williams, in the throes of a confidence crisis, returned to the bench after winning the coin toss, but Silver Ferns coach Wai Taumaunu also opted to leave prolific shooter Irene van Dyk out of the starting line-up in favour of Cathrine Latu.
Maria Tutaia and Latu only missed one attempt between them in the opening quarter, but crucially were only able to make half the number of attempts Catherine Cox and Susan Pratley lobbed up as the Diamonds made a compelling beginning - and then maintained their intensity.
Kayla Cullen endured a tough initiation in her first significant outing at centre as Australia targeted her inexperience - not that her more established teammates were immune from the hosts aggressive defence.
Recalled goal keep Bianca Chatfield and Rebecca Bulley hassled the Ferns duo throughout an opening stanza that saw Australia take control and build an imposing 19-9 lead.
Taumaunu, realising her personnel were being outgunned, had to call her first timeout with six minutes left in the opening term, not that it affected Australian's momentum.
Superstars Van Dyk and Williams also failed to inspire the Ferns as the deficit ballooned to 15 before they trimmed the halftime deficit to 35-23.
The ageless Van Dyk had her first attempt blocked, emphasising the Ferns difficulties in the circle, and was initially overshadowed by fellow veteran Cox and Pratley who contributed a flawless 16 goals in the opening half.
The Ferns legend ultimately had only one miss from 29 attempts but her sterling efforts were immaterial despite Cox's accuracy wavering in the penultimate quarter.
Pratley, who returned from a two-year international exile for the Constellation Cup, matched her vice-captain's 29-goal haul while Caitlin Bassett added value during her cameo on the home stretch.
While Pratley had her radar activated for the full hour,Tutaia's ratio also illustrated the gulf between the sides as the normally reliable foil to Van Dyk managed only 15 from 22.
The Ferns head home tomorrow to prepare for Thursday's second clash with England and then South Africa in Tauranga on Monday.
Massive wins are essential to boost their goal differential to give them at least a glimmer of hope ahead of an ominous - and probably inconsequential - rematch against Australia in Hamilton on November 1.
Australia 68 (Catherine Cox 29/35, Susan Pratley 29/31, Caitlin Bassett 10/13) Silver Ferns 48 (Cathrine Latu 5/5, Maria Tutaia 15/22, Irene Van Dyk 28/29) Q1 Aus 19-9 Aus; Q2 Aus 35-23; Q3 Aus 50-36 Q4: 68-48.
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