Super Rugby

Debreczeni inspires Rebels' first Sydney success

A 16-point haul from Jack Debreczeni gave Melbourne Rebels their first win in Sydney as a second-half Waratahs fightback was unable to prevent a 21-17 Super Rugby defeat on Sunday.

The Rebels had lost nine of their last 10 matches - and four in a row - against Waratahs before heading to Allianz Stadium, but finally claimed an elusive victory in Sydney to go level with Brumbies at the top of the Australian Conference.

Waratahs trailed 21-3 at half-time and, although the Rebels made hard work of seeing out the win, Daryl Gibson's side gave themselves too much to do as they slumped to a third defeat of the season.

Debreczeni threw a dummy inside to cross for the opening try in the 20th minute after he and Australia fly-half Bernard Foley traded penalties, then converted Toby Smith's fifth Super Rugby try of the season four minutes later to put the visitors 15-3 up.

Israel Folau was sin-binned just after the half-hour mark for playing the ball on the ground and fly-half Debreczeni booted another two penalties before half-time after Foley was off target from the tee.

Jack Dempsey scored his first Super Rugby try to reduce the deficit 11 minutes into the second half and Matt Carraro went over 11 minutes from time, but the Rebels held on to make it four wins from six led by captain Nic Stirzaker from the start for the first time.