The new normal was like the old one in the Waterford SHC as Ballygunner extended their unbeaten record to 34 games under the Fraher Field floodlights.
Dessie Hutchinson picked up from where he left off in 2019 with 2-5 (2-3 from play). The Ballygunner hitman fired 4-27 last season.
Fellow county men Pauric Mahony (0-8) and Conor Sheahan (0-2) also shone for the defending champions.
The Gunners, who are chasing seven in row this season, are undefeated since June 23, 2015. 1,857 days ago.
This first round clash was played in an eerie atmosphere with only 45 tickets available to each club. There was an elbow bump for referee Thomas Walsh from Tallow captain Shaun O'Sullivan at the coin toss.
Six Mahony frees and two each from Hutchinson and Sheahan left the champions 0-11 to 0-4 in front at half time.
Darragh O'Sullivan selected 13 of last year's county final team. Hutchinson hit the first point of the championship in the third minute.
Tallow tore into their opponents in the opening quarter but the Gunners struck seven of the last eight points including a quickfire Sheahan double.
Hutchinson rattled the top corner of the net seven minutes into the second half after he received a pass from Sheahan.
Barry Couglan kept tabs on Tallow talisman Thomas Ryan throughout the hour.
Hutchinson whipped home his second on 48 minutes after Mahony and Sheahan were involved in the build-up.
D Hutchinson 2-5 (2fs), Pauric Mahony 0-8 (7fs), T O'Sullivan, K Mahony, C Sheahan 0-2 each, M Mahony, C Power, P Hogan 0-1 each.
D Buckley 0-3 (3fs), D O'Brien 0-2, B McCarthy, J Henley, T Ryan, R Grey 0-1 each.
S O’Keeffe; I Kenny, B Coughlan, B O'Keeffe; T Foley, Philip Mahony, S O'Sullivan; C Sheahan, P Leavy; B O'Sullivan, Pauric Mahony, T O'Sullivan; D Hutchinson, K Mahony, P Hogan.
M Mahony for B O'Sullivan (36), C Power for Pauric Mahony (50), H Barnes for S O'Sullivan (54).
S O'Sullivan; E McGrath, J Beecher, K Kearney; R Geary, M O'Brien, J Henley; K Geary, D Mulcahy; P O'Brien, B McCarthy, I Beecher; D Buckley, D O'Brien, T Ryan.
T Daly for K Geary (HT), R Grey for R Geary (38), R O'Sullivan for B McCarthy (50), S Feeney for P O'Brien (56).