Champions two years ago, the Waratahs came into the season with a new coach in Daryl Gibson after Michael Cheika stood down to focus on the Wallabies but gave every indication they would be a force to be reckoned with again this year.
Tries from skipper Michael Hooper, winger Mark Carraro and debutant centre David Horwitz gave them a 20-0 halftime lead and scrumhalf Nick Phipps crossed after the break to bag the bonus point.
Kurtley Beale had a sparkling hour at flyhalf in place of Wallaby Bernard Foley, former All Black Zac Guildford was a constant threat on the wing and Hooper was his usual workaholic self at openside flanker.
The Reds, 13th out of 15 teams last year, had some bright moments in attack but were unable to capitalise on their chances and things already look bleak for coach Richard Graham.
Their cause was not helped by yellow cards shown to skipper Rob Simmons and Sam Talakai either side of halftime, while the late sin-binning of Waratahs prop Jeremy Tilse only led to uncontested scrums.
Their best chance of a try in the first half came in the 20th minute but Beale produced a crunching covering tackle on winger Chris Feauai-Sautia that earned him a standing ovation from the 24,044 crowd.
The Reds gave a debut to Japan's World Cup hero Ayumu Goromaru and he came off the bench to get them on the scoreboard with a penalty four minutes after the break.
Young flyhalf Jake McIntyre cut through to finally get them over the tryline just before the hour mark but the Waratahs soon restored the three-try cushion required for a bonus point that was introduced this year.
Beale raced through and chipped the ball past Goromaru and although he was clattered into the ground by the Japanese, Phipps won the race to the ball to touch down.
Original source: Fast-starting Waratahs down Reds