Sons of guns Tom Lynagh and Max Jorgensen strutted their stuff as Waratahs edged the Reds 33-32.
The Waratahs won the trial match in Narrabri with Nemani Nadolo's late five-pointer [judged post match to have included a knock-on] the difference in the sides' traditional pre-season hit-out that carries a $25,000 prize.
That's why the Reds were smarting when referee Nic Berry was unable to utilise any replays before awarding Nadolo a try, when vision would have shown the hulking Fijian recruit spilling the ball as he went to plant it in the corner.
The Reds still had plenty to celebrate as Lynagh, the son of World Cup-winning Wallaby Michael, played almost 60 minutes at five-eighth and controlled the game well with hand and foot.
The 19-year-old joined the Reds from the English system last year but played only club football for University of Queensland.
But his long stint in the saddle ahead of last season's back-up No.10 Lawson Creighton, who scored a try after entering for the final third of the game, indicated he may not be far off a fully fledged debut if James O'Connor (ankle) remains sidelined.
"I really enjoyed working with Tommy there tonight," Reds and Wallabies No.9 Tate McDermott said ahead of the season opener in two weeks.
"The history that comes with his last name is pretty special.
"He was awesome; he was loud, he steered and controlled the ship in attack really well.
"It's really exciting to see someone like that fill those shoes like we've asked him to do."
For the Waratahs it was winger Max Jorgensen who shone, his first-half try a dazzling combination of acceleration and angle that left Filipo Daugunu in his dust.
The son of former Wallabies and NRL talent Peter was a recruitment victory for rugby last year and the 18-year-old showed he could handle the step-up after already impressing on the end-of-season Australia A tour.
Reds No.8 Harry Wilson would have been hard to ignore for new Wallabies coach Eddie Jones, particularly in the crucial first 20 minutes when the backrower was heavily involved.
He finished a long-range try started by the also-impressive Isaac Henry and returned the favour with a neat offload to put the outside centre through a gap in the second half.
Emerging Reds winger Floyd Aubrey scored the first try, finishing well after Tate McDermott's cross-field chip bounced behind him.
But he handed that back when spilling a bomb, Mosese Tuipulotu running away for an easy try.
Mahe Vailanu showed his power with two barging first-half tries off the back of rolling mauls for the hosts as temperatures remained in the mid-30C after 8.30pm in the regional NSW town.
Taj Annan and Creighton scored to put the Reds ahead before Nadolo showed his experience with a calm post-try celebration to fool the obscured officials.