The NSW Waratahs proved too solid in a 35-19 win in Melbourne, against a Rebels side that are eager to prove themselves this season.
The Warathas attack was particularly impressive with centre Tom Carter going over for two first-half tries, while prop Sekope Kepu scored a determined try after he picked up from a ruck 20m out and outstripped the Rebels relaxed defense.
Australian sevens star Bernard Foley also managed to cross the white-wash after a series of attacking phases from the Waratahs.
Rebels’ star-recruit James O’Connor had a solid performance with the boot as he slotted 4 penalties along with a penalty-try conversion, although the young centre was unable to show his attack prowess in open-play.
The Rebels, who want to improve from their wooden-spoon performance in last year’s tournament, will have to up their game moving into Round 3 of the competition, where they face 2011’s champions the Reds.
NSW WARATAHS 35
Tries: Tom Carter 2, Bernard Foley, Sekope Kepu tries
Pens/Cons: Daniel Halangahu 3/2, Foley
MELBOURNE REBELS 19
Tries: (1 penalty try)
Pens/Cons: James O’Connor (4/1)