The Waratahs belatedly kick-started their Super Rugby campaign with a first win of the season on Friday, claiming a 29-17 win over the Lions in Sydney.
Three defeats in as many matches to begin the season had left Rob Penney's side looking hapless, but they finally found their stride against the Lions.
An emphatic start had the Waratahs in complete control after 17 minutes, as they led 19-0 thanks to tries from Gus Bell, Lachlan Swinton and Jack Dempsey – the latter two coming with Ruben Schoeman in the sin bin for sparking a brawl by shoving a prone opponent in the face.
The Lions responded and gave themselves a lifeline with Marnus Schoeman's first try of the day after Swinton saw yellow for a late no-arms tackle on Elton Jantjies.
However, the Waratahs put the game beyond the visitors in the second period, with James Ramm and Tetera Faulkner going over, the latter sealing victory three minutes from the end.
Andrew Kellaway was in fine form as the Rebels ousted the Highlanders in the day's other contest, the visitors triumphing 28-22 for their first away win versus the Dunedin franchise.
Kellaway, who is back in Australia following a stint in England with the Northampton Saints, went over with runaway tries in either half of an entertaining clash.
The Rebels raced into a 21-0 lead inside the opening 22 minutes, but only finished the first half with a rather modest seven-point cushion.
Kellaway's second try gave the Highlanders too much ground to make up despite Scott Gregory touching down in the 63rd minute and Josh Iaone's late penalty leading to an interesting finish.
However, the match was marred by a horrific leg injury to Highlanders captain James Lentjes, who had to be carried off in the first half following an awkward fall after a ruck.