New Plymouth - New South Wales Waratahs took a big step towards proving they are the real deal this season with a 33-17 victory over the Super Rugby champion Waikato Chiefs on Saturday, their first win in New Zealand for four years.

The visitors dominated a physical first half in New Plymouth and a try from fullback Israel Folau, his 11th of the season, helped them to a 13-3 lead at the break.

Replacement back Bundee Aki grounded the ball from grubber kicks to score two tries in six minutes which gave the Chiefs a 17-16 lead just after the hour mark and hopes of a revival in their title defence.

Waratahs skipper Dave Dennis rampaged down the blindside to score eight minutes from time, however, and flyhalf Bernard Foley, who scored 20 points in all, grabbed another try at the death to ensure his team would lead the Australian conference going into the international break. - Reuters