The Waratahs will be well pleased with the bonus-point win but there must be some concerns about how easily teams can put them off them game. The Rebels frustrated them in the first half and in the dying stages of the first stanza they looked the better team.
But the Waratahs have individual brilliance galore and Kurtley Beale repeatedly caused all sorts of trouble for the Rebels defence. The early try in the second-half to Peter Betham released the shackles for the Waratahs and the Rebels simply missed to be one-on-one tackles and the Tahs ran riot.
Log on to RugbyHeaven for all the wash up and match report from Georgina Robinson and stay with RugbyHeaven tomorrow night when the boys from Canberra present a live blog of the bruised Brumbies clash against the bruising Stormers.
And like Israel Folau running onto a Kurtley Beale pass, I'm off!
And that's full time. The Waratahs have the win and a bonus point (their fourth from as many games) and return back to the top of the Australian conference at least until tomorrow night when the Brumbies and Stormers clash in Canberra.
Tomorrow they fly out for South Africa for a testing two-game tour.
Try time IZZZZZZY!!!! Kurtley Beale is having a blinder of a game with assists!!! @kurtley_beale #CreepOff #WARvREB — Raves (@RavenZech) March 21, 2014
McGahan needs to make changes for next week. Would like to see l.timani amongst the changes. #warvreb — Adrian F (@saltandpepper79) March 21, 2014
The crowd is believed to be 16,600. Not big numbers but slowly growing and Kurtley Beale after the torrid outing against the Brumbies is named man of the match.
74th min: Job done and Folau is replaced to raucous applause from the home crowd. In order of love so far for the players replaced, it would go Folau, Potgeiter and then Douglas.
The bonus point came as Kurtley Beale busted through the Rebels defence 60 metres out and simply drew the fullback and sent Izzy on his way. The conversion is successful. WARATAHS 32 REBELS 8.
74th min: Israel Folau scores his eighth try of the season and he can thank Kurtley Beale again.
71st min: It's a penalty to the Rebels but things are getting a little willing out there with pushing and shoving. Scott Higginbotham, naturally, is in the thick of the action.
I'm loving Max Lahiff's combination of hi-top boots and pushed-down socks... #WARvREB — Brett McKay (@BMcSport) March 21, 2014
70th min: Scott Higginbotham makes a rare bust for the Rebels but his short kick goew awry and it will be a scrum to the Tahs. The hosts' will win this game, but will they score the bonus point?
Thinking Potgeiter may be the glue that gets the Tahs somewhere this season. Liking him at 6. #WARvREB — John Alexander (@Wheatman01) March 21, 2014
68th min: The Tahs try another short kick from the set piece and the bounce is friendly but the subsequent offload to Michael Hooper could not quite find the mark.
67th min: The game is getting sloppy now as Cheika continues to turn to his bench. Latu on for TPN and McKibbin gets a guernsey as Phipps comes off.
More changes in the forwards for the Tahs. Ryan back for Kepu and Stephen Hoiles on for Douglas.
63rd min: Some crunching defence by the Waratahs has forced a turnover but maybe done themselves more damage. Both Tatafu Polota-Nau and Kane Douglas seeking attention.
These Aussie teams are a #Force to be reckoned with! #WARvREB #SSRugby #PunIntended — Astrid (@Astrid_Luyt) March 21, 2014
Georgina Robinson: Yes, thank you Peter and Israel, this is much more in the fashion to which we are accustomed.
59th min: Tom English has a chance down the left flank but a laxative lackadaisical kick goes out on the full. Cliffy Palu on for Will Skelton.
54th min: The Waratahs have their tails up. A raking kick down field is chased hard by Betham and he drive Roberts into touch. Something has gone on there and Peyper awards a penalty and Roberts is given 10 mins. Did he prevent the quick lineout?
53rd min: Rob Horne on for Alofa Alofa. He will play outside centre, AAC onto the wing.
That was an EXCEPTIONAL try. Absolutely awesome. Cracking ball by Beale. Try to @IzzyFolau. #WARvREB — Christian Biggins (@cbiggins) March 21, 2014
Beautiful running lines and link-up from Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau. Sensational viewing. The Beyonce of rugby moves. #WARvREB— Alex Shaw (@alexshawsport) March 21, 2014
Fierce counter-rucking forced the turnover and two former Rebels, Phipps and Beale did the damage. Beale ran onto a long ball from Phipps he drew in several defenders before releasing Folau on an untroubled run under the posts. Foley kicks the conversion. WARATAHS 25 REBELS 8.
What a terrible read in defence from Burgess - much better from the Tahs #WARvREB — Scott Allen (@ScottA_) March 21, 2014
46th min: No try! There was a knock-on by Jacques Potgeiter two rucks before. Rebels off the hook.
46th min: Possible try for the Waratahs. Benn Robinson looks like he has crashed over next to the post.
45th min: And from the restart Foley charges straight through. He kicks ahead for Hooper and the Rebels round it up but it as lineout throw to the Tahs five metres out.
It was a set move and the inside ball was given to Peter Betham who carved through the Rebels defence and with space to move and speed to burn, no one was going to run him down as he dived over in the left corner. Foley's kick from the sideline is successful. WARATAHS 18 REBELS 8.
43rd try: Will this open the floodgates for the Waratahs? TRY to Peter Betham.
Play is under way in the second half and Wallabies prop Benn Robinson has replaced Paddy Ryan.
A thousand apologies to Bryce Hegarty (see 17th min). It wasn't Tom Kingston who made the try-saving tackle it was the Rebels No.10.
Israel Folau of the Waratahs is tackled by Bryce Hegarty. Photo: Getty Images
#WARvREB tahs play like they don't have a coach. Great individual players. 0 structure. — blake (@BlakeZ80) March 21, 2014
Here's the halftime summary from the Sydney Morning Herald's Chief Rugby Reporter Georgina Robinson:
Steve, I may be sitting right next to you (in the press box), but here's my two cents' in writing. The Rebels have crawled under the Waratahs skin and are making a huge nuisance of themselves. The Waratahs only try came from one of their few counter-attacking opportunities. This is what they thrive on and, like the Brumbies before them, the Rebels are keeping it all nice and structured. McGahan's boys are abrasive and niggly, up tight in the Waratahs' grills, and it's working. The Tahs are ahead but they look messy. That's what happens when you have the pressure ramped up on you. The Reds and Force games have turned me into a princess. I need more tries!
40th min: It was one last chance to give the home crowd a heart attack as the Tahs get the penalty and RUN IT! Cooler heads soon prevail and Foley boots in into touch. Halftime: WARATAHS 11 REBELS 8.
40th min: The Rebels are enjoying more ball and their attack looks a little more organised than the Waratahs as they drive deep into the hosts' territory but a knock-on from the base of the breakdown just five metres has let the Tahs off the hook? One more scrum before halftime.
36th min: It seems the Rebels don't want to do level pegging and gift another three points to the Waratahs with another penalty for not releasing when tackled. WARATAHS 11-8.
35th min: He makes no mistake from about 25m out and 15m in from touch. The scores are tied at 8-8.
34th min: The Rebels enjoy some field position and possession and the running and defence has been willing but eventually the Tahs transgress and Hegarty has a chance to level the scores.
29th min: Penalty to the Tahs from the re-start and this time they are going for the three points from 35 metres out and Foley does not miss. The Tahs are back in front 8-5.
28th min: And he has. and for all the possession and field position the Waratahs have had, the game is all locked up at 5-5 with a kick to come.
28th min: The Rebels are over the line, but is it a try? It certainly looks like Scott Higginbotham has scored.
27th min: The Rebels score another penalty but they are not interested in the three poins either.
25th min: Great hole running by Tom Kingston nearly results in a clean break but the Tahs defence drives the Rebels back and they earn the scrum feed from which the Rebels score another penalty and are now deep in attack.
24th min: The Rebels can finally escape their 22 after a chargin run from Mitch Inman ends up with a penalty.
22nd min: That was, of course, until they knocked on themselves. Both scrums look solid tonight.
21st min: The Tahs are looking a little disjointed in attack. They have had plenty of possession but there is little structure and not enough straight running. They just gave up an easy three points to go for the another try. It ended with a Rebels knock on so not all is lost from this attacking raid.
17th min: It looked like Israel Folau was going to score his seventh try of the season. Foley got a chip kick right, he found space and Folau charged on to it and streaked away but he was run down by his former Tah teammate Tom Kingston who just come on to replace the unlucky Mitchell. Try saving tackle.
16th min: A stretcher has been called for and eventually Jaco Peyper calls a halt to play not before the Tahs find touch with a raking 40-metre kick.
14th min: The Tahs blow it with a free kick from an attacking line-up. Lachlan Mitchell in his 50th game for the Rebels is down in back play with what looks like a serious injury. Play goes on however.
13th min: Bryce Hegarty is lucky to get away with a charged-down kick and the ball eventually ends up in the Waratahs half where the Rebels tackle to high and concede the penalty.
10th min: A kicking duel has gone all awry for the Rebels with Angus Roberts eventually kicking out on the full. The Tahs give the visitors a reprieve with a knock-on at the lineout. Rebels scrum feed 25m out from their own line.
8th min: Penalty to the Rebels and they will go for the three points.
7th min: Some reckless play by the Waratahs has given the Rebels good field position and possession. Will they strike back?
It started in the Tahs half as the teams traded turnovers but when the Rebels gave the Tahs possession back a quick counter attack led to telling bursts by Michael Hooper and Jacques Potgeiter. Eventually Bernard Foley found space out wide and Alofa Alofa crossed in right corner. Foley missed the convesrsion from the sideline. WARATAHS 5-0.
4th min: Alofa Alofa has scored the opening try for the Waratahs. NSW 5 Rebels 0 KTC.
1 min: The Tahs try to run it out of their own territory and make little ground but do earn a penalty.
Hello welcome to live coverage of the Waratahs v Rebels at Allianze Stadium.
It is a beautiful evening in Sydney and the track looks hard and fast. There should be plenty of points in this one. Kick-off is a little over five minutes away.
Allianz Stadium, Sydney, Friday 7.40pm (AEDT)
Last meeting: Round 15 2013 - Rebels 24 bt Waratahs 22 at AAMI Park
Head-to-head: Played 6 Waratahs 5 Rebels 1
In Sydney: Played 3 Waratahs 3 Rebels 0
Referee: Jaco Peyper (RSA)
TV: Live, FoxSports 2
Betfair: Waratahs $1.20, Rebels $5.70
Ladbrokes: Waratahs $1.17, Rebels $5.10
Stephen Samuelson writes: The Rebels have never won at Allianz Stadium but the losing margins are getting progressively smaller. Tahs coach Michael Cheika has called on his pack to do more heavy lifting and has recalled big boppers Will Skelton and Sekope Kepu to kick start proceedings.
AAP writes: Losing for the first time to the Rebels last season, and then again in this year's trials, should have the hosts wary enough of an ambush but any sense of complacency in the Waratahs ranks must surely have been distinguished by a last-up defeat against the Brumbies. Suddenly the Tahs' two bonus-point wins to open 2014 seems a distant memory and they will be desperate to get their campaign back on track before embarking on a tough two-game stint in South Africa. Expect a torrid battle at the breakdown with the Rebels eager to stop ball supply to Waratahs dangermen Israel Folau and Kurtley Beale. It will be a special night for winger Lachlan Mitchell, who will become the first player to make 50 appearances for the Rebels.
WARATAHS: Israel Folau, Alofa Alofa, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Kurtley Beale, Peter Betham, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Dave Dennis (c), Michael Hooper, Jacques Potgieter, Kane Douglas, Will Skelton, Paddy Ryan, Tatafu Polota Nau, Sekope Kepu. Reserves (from): Tolu Latu, Jeremy Tilse, Benn Robinson, Wycliff Palu, Stephen Hoiles, Brendan McKibbin, Rob Horne, Matt Carraro, Pat McCutcheon, Jonno Lance.
REBELS: Angus Roberts, Lachlan Mitchell, Tamati Ellison, Mitch Inman, Tom English, Bryce Hegarty, Luke Burgess, Scott Higginbotham (capt), Scott Fuglistaller, Sean McMahon, Luke Jones, Hugh Pyle, Paul Alo-Emile, Pat Leafa, Toby Smith. Reserves: Shota Horie, Max Lahiff, Cruze Ah-Nau, Cadeyrn Neville, Colby Fainga'a, Ben Meehan, Male Sa'u.