Melbourne - The Waratahs kept their Super Rugby finals dream alive on Friday by beating the Rebels 20-15 at AAMI Park.
The Sydney-based Waratahs have been dominant against the Rebels in recent times, and their bruising win in Melbourne was their sixth in-a-row over their arch-rivals.
It moved them up to 30 points in the Australian Conference with two games to play, four behind the Rebels and Brumbies, who face the Sunwolves in Tokyo on Saturday.
"It was always going to be a grind, Aussie derbies are always super physical so it's hard to run away with a game," said Waratahs captain Michael Hooper.
"There were some big plays there, but we also put ourselves under some serious pressure. Was a quality game from both teams."
The ‘Tahs got the opening points, with Adam Ashley-Cooper finishing a flowing backline move and Bernard Foley kicking the conversion.
A Quade Cooper penalty reduced the deficit, but it was quickly cancelled out by two penalty kicks by Foley after sloppy Rebels' errors.
The Waratahs had all the possession, but the home team settled down and in an intense period Curtis Rona made a try-saving tackle on the Rebels' Marika Koroibete, then Richard Hardwick and Cooper both had tries disallowed.
They went to the break with the 'Tahs 13-3 ahead, before the Rebels finally got a deserved reward nine minutes after the restart with Cooper dotting down.
Rona though quickly got another try for the visitors as the game heated up before Will Genia gathered an offload from Koroibete for a five-pointer to set up a nervy finish.
Tries: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Curtis Rona
Conversions: Bernard Foley (2)
Penalties: Foley (2)
Tries: Quade Cooper, Will Genia
15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Matt To’omua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner
Substitutes: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Billy Meakes, 23 Tom English
15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Tuala, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Jed Holloway, 20 Will Miller, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Mack Mason, 23 Cameron Clark