Force run ends in Melbourne
Scott Higginbotham's second-half try enabled the Rebels to pull clear of their Australian rivals and terminate the Western Force's five-match winning streak.
The Rebels remain bottom of the Super Rugby Australian conference, while the Force remain in wildcard contention after claiming a losing bonus point when wing Nick Cummins crossed in the final play of the match.
Two Jason Woodward penalties were all the Rebels had to show for a dominant first half that finished 6-6, with Sias Ebersohn responding in kind for the Force.
It was only after the break that the Melbourne franchise began to get the reward their superiority deserved.
Two further penalties from Woodward pulled them clear and then the full-back converted Higginbotham's 62nd-minute try.
The breakthrough came from the back of a scrum with the Wallabies number eight collecting from the base and burrowing over the whitewash.
Ebersohn gave the Force hope with a penalty and they went desperately close to crossing themselves, but the home defence was robust.
Cummins delivered a valuable bonus point at the death, but the Force had otherwise faded as the effort of their five-match triumphant sequence finally caught up with them.
Free running Rebels lock Luke Jones was superb as he pressed his claim for Wallabies selection.