Brisbane have thrown their hat in as a real contender this season by producing a 4-0 thrashing of a disappointing Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
It was a Roar performance that mirrored some of the club's most impressive displays during their dominant title-winning seasons of 2010/11 and 2011/12.
Two of the games brightest attractions, Besart Berisha of Brisbane and Sydney's Alessandro Del Piero, were both withdrawn through injury by the 30th-minute mark, but the Roar managed to turn on the fireworks nonetheless to stun Frank Farina's side.
Matt Smith, Henrique and Jade North all scored in a devastating seven-minute spell at the end of the first half to send Brisbane into the break leading 3-0.
Sydney were unable to muster much of a fightback after the interval, and it was the Roar who eventually extended their lead through Thomas Broich, after creating a host of chances.
In a cagey opening, Sydney conceded possession to the Roar but made themselves difficult to break down with packed defensive lines.
The Roar's star lone striker Berisha was forced off after 26 minutes with a tight hamstring, the result of referred pain following an earlier knee in the back. Brazilian Henrique came on in his place.
Marquee man Del Piero was gone as well minutes later, to be replaced by Brett Emerton, after suffering an injury to his left calf.
Brisbane began to look ever more dangerous and their triple blow began with a curled Broich free kick into the box, which was headed home by Smith at the back post.
Sydney goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic might have done better, but his attempts to shovel the ball away were to no avail.
Within moments, the home side had doubled their advantage, as Henrique bundled the ball into the net with his thigh following an Ivan Franjic header across goal.
The Roar's third goal came from a surprise source, as North latched on to a perfectly weighted McKay through ball to finish calmly past the keeper, following a Nicky Carle giveaway in midfield.
It was the defender's third A-League goal, and his first since 2008 and it gave the hosts a daunting 3-0 advantage at half time.
McKay tested out Janjetovic with a low long-range effort early in the second term, before Joel Chianese hit the side netting for Sydney down the other end.
Henrique had the ball in the back of the net for a second time after a Brisbane breakaway, but the Franjic's final pass was fractionally late, and the Brazilian was offside.
Smith leapt high again to trouble the Sydney custodian, but Janjetovic showed courage to nullify the threat, then smother the follow-up chance for Henrique, as Brisbane stormed forward.
The Brazilian wasted a series of chances, but it was the Roar's German star who finally extended their lead.
Broich slid in to fire home an Ivan Franjic cross, after the wide man had gone on a terrific run down the right, to make if 4-0 and cap a masterful performance from Brisbane.