Full-time. Waratahs 30 Rebels 21 in front of 17,600 fans at Allianz Stadium.
81 min: And the Waratahs have dropped it. They get the four points which is something to be happy about but one suspects there won't be too many smiles in the dressing room. A greatly improved performance from the Rebels after last week's thrashing but the Waratahs are once again their own worst enemies, letting what should have been a match-winning lead slip to a position where the game was almost in the balance late. That's it from us tonight, thanks for your company and rugbyheaven.com.au editor Steve Samuelson will be back in the chair for round 10 next week. Be sure to grab tomorrow's Sun Herald for all the washup from Greg Growden and Georgina Robinson.
81 min: Tom Carter just short.
80 min: Held up is the call. The Tahs will have the scrum with just seconds to play as the siren sounds.
79 min: Sitaleki Timani is over for the Waratahs but we're going upstairs for a look. Doesn't look like a try from here.
78 min: See previous update.
78 min: Another penalty to the Tahs. All fairly academic now.
78 min: John Ulugia has the throw just five metres out from the line.
77 min: And they spill it and now it's the Tahs on the attack. A golden opportunity to get that all-important bonus point.
76 min: PENALTY against the Waratahs. The Rebels will have the lineout just outside the Tahs' 22 with just a sniff of pulling off something special.
Benn Robinson is off for the Tahs, Kepu returns.
75 min: Huxley adds the extras and now the Rebels are eyeing a bonus point - or more?
74 min: TRY - to the Rebels. Lachlan Mitchell slides through a hole to bring the Rebels within touch courtesy of a nice ball from Beale. Tahs 30 Rebels 19 with a kick to come to be taken by Julian Huxley.
72 min: It won't be coming this time - PENALTY to the Rebels. Also a change for the Waratahs, Polota-Nau is off and John Ulugia is in for the hooking role.
71 min: Barnes drives a kick into touch just the Rebels' side of halfway. Waratahs chasing the all-important bonus point, they need one more try to get it.
67 min: PENALTY to the Rebels and, peculiarly considering the scoreline and the man advantage they possess, it's Kurtley Beale taking the kick. He hooks it poorly and what could have been seven points instead becomes nothing.
63 min: The moment Tahs fans have been waiting for - Rocky Elsom is on the field. His first appearance in the sky blue in four years, and the first time the home side have had their skipper on the field in 2012.
62 min: TRY - Tim Davidson gets his first for the Rebels before Kurtley Beale makes no mistake with a different kick from the corner. 30-14 to the Waratahs.
62 min: Rebels into their seventh phase here before spreading it wide. Davidson crosses in the corner and it's another first-timer getting his name in the score book. Tahs still lead 30-12, kick to come.
59 min: Beale cops some special attention from Horne there, with the current Tah dropping the ex-Tah on his back. He cops a yellow card for his efforts and the Rebels have a one-man advantage for the next 10 minutes. What will they do with it? That's the $64 question.
O'Connor looks to have finally succumbed to his rib injury, while Sekope Kepu is off for the Tahs, replaced by Paddy Ryan.
McKibbin adds the extras to give his side the lead 30-7 and it's starting to look a bit like a drubbing here again for the Rebels.
57 min: TRY. Persistence pays off for the Tahs there and Rob Horne gets the try just to the left of the sticks. Waratahs lead 28-7 with a kick to come, and a bonus point well within sight.
56 min: 11 phases in and finally the Tahs spread it. Inches out.
Brendan McKibbin is back on deck as well.
54 min: Waratahs get the lineout throw right on the 22. James O'Connor can expect plenty of attention now.
Adding insult to (potential) injury, O'Connor has also been penalised for the challenge on Barnes. He looks to be getting back to his feet now, and it won't be just Rebels fans glad to see that.
53 min: Brendan McKibbin looks to be in all sorts of trouble after coming off second best to Gareth Delve, and, just as I type that, James O'Connor is down after what looks like an accidental knee from Berrick Barnes.
52 min: And another opportunity goes begging. Tahs back in possession as Polota-Nau drives low for some good metres.
51 min: PENALTY. Waratahs again under pressure close to their own line. A try here brings them right back into it. They've barely had a crack in this second half.
49 min: PENALTY to the Waratahs - barely any of the Rebels onside there. Kick finds touch 40m from the Rebels line.
49 min: Polota-Nau drives Phipps into touch and that's that for the Rebels. Trying to get a bit too tricky there.
47 min: PENALTY goes the way of the Rebels. Dean Mumm again pinged and Mark Gerrard steps up to kick for touch. It's another top effort and the Rebels have the lineout 10m out from the Waratahs' line.
46 min: McKibbin makes it six from six and the Tahs extend the lead to 16. 23-7
45 min: TRY. Good vision there from Tatafu Polota-Nau and Wycliff Palu. The hooker gets a quick lineout in before Palu flicks it back and Polota-Nau scores an easy try on the short side. Waratahs 21 Rebels 7, kick to come, and that's the sort of play that brings a smile to a coach's face.
44 min: And now the Rebels have conceded a penalty from the scrum. Tahs in dream field position for an early try.
43 min: PENALTY - this time to the visitors.
Rodney Blake off for the Rebels, replaced by Jono Owen who makes his Super Rugby debut.
43 min: Penalty to the Tahs. Nick Phipps pinged for getting in the way of Berrick Barnes, looked dicy for a second there but he's back on his feet.
43 min: Alcock spills it for the Tahs before Hugh Pyle almost returns the favour.
42 min: Sekope Kepu breaks through for the Tahs and the home side are 20m out.
41 min: Back underway at Allianz and the Waratahs have the ball just inside the Rebels' half.
And that's it for the first half. The Waratahs head to the sheds with a nine-point lead 16-7. We'll be back in a few minutes with all the second-half action.
40 min: Centimetres out from the line and the Rebels cough it up. There'll scarcely be time to set the scrum as the siren sounds.
39 min: Rebels a few metres out and looking dangerous.
38 min: Rebels on the attack after a suspect looking ball from Beale to Lachlan Mitchell. Visitors may have the final say in this opening term.
36 min: Beale's spilt another high ball under plenty of Waratahs pressure. Looked like a textbook case of taking his eye off the ball there.
35 min: Great work from McKibbin, stealing the ball for the Waratahs just over the halfway line. But it all comes to nothing as the Tahs kick possession away aimlessly, while Mark Gerrard returns to the favour with a sensational effort. His kicking game has been one of the standouts on either side tonight thus far.
Still 16-7 to the Waratahs as we head into the final five minutes of this first half. Ged Robinson is on the deck spilling plenty of claret and might be off for an early rest himself.
Michael Lipman is off for the Rebels.
32 min: Referee Jonathan Kaplan's been hit by the ball there. What might have been for the Rebels? Both sides seeing the funny side though and it's a Rebels' scrum 40m out from the Waratahs line.
31 min: Danny Cipriani finds himself in space but Dean Mumm neutralises the attack. Tahs defenders were thin out wide there.
30 min: McKibbin adds another three and it's Waratahs 16 Rebels 7 on the half-hour mark.
29 min: PENALTY - to the Waratahs. Right in front and a likely three points.
28 min: Some promising phase play from the Waratahs here, gaining ground every time.
27 min: Tatafu Polota-Nau taking the lineout for the Tahs, who've just taken their foot off the pedal ever so slightly. Michael Foley will be wanting another try to boost the momentum heading into the break.
26 min: Another scrum PENALTY, this time going the way of the Waratahs. Well inside their own half so it's driven into touch around the Rebels' 22
23 min: James O'Connor adds the two with some assistance from the crossbar. Points for the Rebels, and fantasy points for your blogger. Waratahs 13 Rebels 7.
22 min: TRY - Robinson gets over the line for the Rebels and finally grounds the ball after what seemed like an eternity. Waratahs 13 Rebels 5, kick to come.
21 min: PENALTY to the Rebels, and is this the chance the visitors need to get back in the match. Gerrard eschews the option to take the points and heads for touch. Ged Robinson will have the lineout throw just a few metres out from the Tahs' line.
18 min: Kurtley Beale knocks on on his own 22, and don't the crowd know it. He'll hear plenty about that one no doubt.
17 min: Penalty attempt successful and the Waratahs now lead 13-0.
15 min: PENALTY to the Waratahs. Advantage being played and the Rebels manage to hold the Tahs out but we're going back for the infringement. Looks like McKibbin will have another shot.
14 min: And already they've turned it over. Penalised for holding on and the Tahs are pressuring the Rebels lineout just 10m out from the visitors' line
Rebels with the lineout about 30m out from the Waratahs line. They've barely had the ball so far.
12 min: PENALTY to the Rebels. Looked like Dean Mumm obstructing a defender there.
10 min: Waratahs scrum feed. The Rebels manage to turn the ball over but, in doing so, spill it and the home side have a golden opportunity to extend the lead.
It's Alcock with the ball in hand and the Waratahs are driving downfield.
9 min: He makes no mistake. Waratahs now lead the Rebels 10-0
McKibbin will take the short at goal.
8 min: Advantage being played here. Nic Henderson offside for the Rebels and Kaplan blows the whistle. PENALTY to the Waratahs - an easy three on offer if they want it.
7 min: Not even close from Cipriani - that's dropped about 10m short. Still 7-0 to the Waratahs
7 min: PENALTY to the visitors. About 50m out but Danny Cipriani is taking the shot for the Rebels.
6 min: Waratahs scrum collapses and we're back for a reset. Doesn't Jonathan Kaplan just love to milk the drama of the 'crouch, touch, pause, engage'. It's happened again and it's a penalty to the Rebels.
4 min: A bit of a kicking duel developing here and it's a lineout to the Rebels on the halfway line.
3 min: Waratahs take their own lineout and are in possession again.
2 min: Brendan McKibbin adds the extras. Tahs 7-0. What a start.
1 min: TRY- Wycliff Palu sets it up before the Tahs backs find themselves in all sorts of space. Options aplenty but Adam Ashley-Cooper flicks it back inside for Bernard Foley to bag his third Super Rugby try after just 26 seconds. Record anyone? Waratahs 5 Rebels 0, kick to come
Under way and the Waratahs get a dream start regathering the kick. Inside the Rebels' 22 after about as many seconds and it's a TRY.
Tonight the teams are playing for the Weary Dunlop Shield as we head to a minute's silence in honour of next week's ANZAC Day. Lest we forget. The Army-Navy curtain-raiser went the way of the former 28-6.
Teams preparing to come down the tunnel as a healthy crowd begins to build. For our readers who didn't see the earlier match the Crusaders got home in a tryfest over the Hurricanes 42-14.
Welcome to Allianz Stadium for tonight's clash between the Waratahs and the Rebels in what promises to be a red-letter day for the Australian conference. There has to be a local winner in this one. The Rebels are coming off the back of a pasting at the hands of the Brumbies last week while, in the other local derby, the Tahs withstood a late assault from the Force in Perth to get the points. Plenty to talk about in this match with captain Rocky Elsom finally donning the blue again for the Waratahs and Kurtley Beale coming up against his former teammates.
The Twitter outlaw, James Polson, casts aside his maroon-and-white mungo bias to bring you all the action from Allianz Stadium.
Last meeting: Round 2 2012 - Waratahs 35 bt Rebels 19 at AAMI Park
Head-to-head: Played 3 Waratahs 3 Rebels 0
In Sydney: Played 1 Waratahs 1 Rebels 0
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (RSA)
TAB Sportsbet: Waratahs $1.12 Rebels $5.75
Greg Growden writes: All the Waratahs have to do to beat the Rebels, is watch a video of the Brumbies win last weekend. Be physical, run at them, expose their one on one defensive frailties, and there’s five points in the bag. After all, the Rebels have already leaked 24 tries this year.
AAP writes: If the consistently inconsistent Rebels stay true to form than they're in for a blinder against NSW after their shocker against the Brumbies. However it's doubtful that the Waratahs will want to stick to that script, particularly after they showed some grit to knock over the Force in Perth. Their captain Rocky Elsom is finally fit to take the paddock, albeit from the bench and his addition will make the NSW backrow even more difficult for the Rebels to contain. Melbourne have the strikepower to match the Tahs but doubtful the likes of O'Connor, Cipriani and Beale, in his first match against his old side, will see any quality ball.
WARATAHS: Bernard Foley, Tom Kingston, Rob Horne, Tom Carter, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Brendan McKibbin, Wycliff Palu, Chris Alcock, Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson (c). Reserves (from): Rocky Elsom, Daniel Halangahu, Jono Jenkins, Sarel Pretorius, Paddy Ryan, Lopeti Timani, Sitaleki Timani, John Ulugia.
REBELS: Kurtley Beale, Lachlan Mitchell, Lloyd Johansson, James O’Connor, Mark Gerrard, Danny Cipriani, Nick Phipps, Gareth Delve (c), Michael Lipman, Jarrod Saffy, Hugh Pyle, Luke Jones, Rodney Blake, Ged Robinson, Nic Henderson. Reserves: Luke Holmes, Jono Owen, Al Campbell, Tim Davidson, Richard Kingi, Julian Huxley, Cooper Vuna