The Brumbies scored 35 unanswered points in the second half to clinch a record win over the beleaguered Waratahs.
Last year's Super Rugby Aotearoa runners-up, the Blues were too strong for the Hurricanes.
The Reds trailed for most of Friday's clash with the Rebels, but Alex Mafi's two tries helped them pinch victory at the death.
Hooker Codie Taylor scored the opening try of the 2021 season as holders Crusaders came out on top in Dunedin.
After Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Aotearoa, the top clubs from Australia and New Zealand will do battle in a new competition.
South Africa withdrew from this year's Rugby Championship but remain committed through to 2030 amid a restructure.
Noah Lolesio returned from two months out with a torn hamstring to inspire the Brumbies to glory over the Reds in the Super Rugby AU final.
The Brumbies will host the Reds in the Super Rugby AU final next weekend after Brad Thorn's team overcame the Rebels on Saturday.
Cabous Eloff's late try helped the Rebels edge the Force and reach the Super Rugby AU finals.
Aaron Mauger conceded results have not been good enough during his Highlanders tenure after being informed he will not keep his job.