The Rebels claimed their second win over the Western Force this season with a 30-23 victory at nib Stadium in Perth on Saturday.
The team from Melbourne outscored their hosts four tries to three in a ding-dong battle, claiming a bonus point and climbing above the Force in the standings in the process.
The win means the Rebels are still unbeaten in Perth, though they have yet to beat any other Super Rugby teams this season. The positive result will nevertheless come as a relief for the under-pressure Rebels coaching staff after their disastrous South African tour.
The Rebels led 15-11 at the break thanks to tries from lock Hugh Pyle and wing Jason Woodward while the Force replied via a touchdown from centre Winston Stanley.
Rebels wing Richard Kingi's try shortly after the break gave the visitors a healthy lead but the Force hit back via scores from full-back Will Tupou and wing Patrick Dellit.
The home side were never able to put their noses in front but the result hung in the balance right to the end after the teams were locked at 23-all until Woodward's second try twelve minutes from full-time put the Rebels ahead when it counted most.
The Force will be left to rue a number of missed opportunities and fly-half Sias Ebersohn's erratic kicking form will be a cause for concern.
The Rebels raced to 15-0 lead early on after Pyle powered over from short range and Woodward scored his first Super Rugby try thanks to a lucky bounce from a grubber that eluded Tupou.
Force lock Hugh McMeniman was denied a try when lost the ball in the act of crossing but the home side finally got on the scoreboard when Stanley went over in the right corner.
Ebersohn eventually slotted a penalty to narrow the gap and then made it 11-15 on the brink of half-time.
After the break James O'Connor put Kingi into a hole and then added the conversion. O'Connor was on target again from 50 metres out to make it 23-11 on the hour mark.
Tupou went over from close range to narrow the gap before Dellit collect a chip ahead from Stanley with Kyle Godwin's conversion making it 23-all.
Woodward had the last laugh however, chasing down his own kick ahead to secure the bonus point.
Tries: Stanley, Tupou, Dellit
Pens: Ebersohn 2
Tries: Pyle, Woodward 2, Kingi
Cons: O'Connor 2
Pens: O'Connor 2
Western Force: 15 Will Tupou, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Alfie Mafi, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman , 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Hugh McMeniman, 4 Toby Lynn , 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Heath Tessmann, 1 Kieran Longbottom.
Replacements: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Sam Wykes, 19 Chris Alcock, 20 Mick Snowden, 21 Sam Christie, 22 Sam Norton-Knight.
Melbourne Rebels: 15 James O'Connor, 14 Jason Woodward, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Richard Kingi, 10 Angus Roberts, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Scott Higginbotham, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Paul Alo Emile, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Laurie Weeks, 18 Jarrod Saffy, 19 Jordy Reid, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Tom English, 22 Cooper Vuna.
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffman (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
Television match official: Matt Goddard (Australia)