Cape Town - The Rebels heaped more misery on the struggling Reds by fighting back to grind out a 23-15 Super Rugby victory over the visitors, who had James Horwill sent off after 20 minutes on Friday.
Horwill and number eight Jake Schatz scored early tries to give the Reds a 12-3 advantage but the game turned when the Australian lock was shown a red card for striking Paul Alo-Emile.
The Rebels took advantage with lock Lopeti Timani, wing Tom English and scrumhalf Nic Stirzaker scoring tries as they picked up their third win of the campaign while ensuring the 2011 champions stayed bottom of the Australian Conference.
A crippling injury list had been behind the Reds woeful start of five defeats in six games but with many starters returning in recent weeks, hopes had been high of a revival.
They looked bright and focussed in the early exchanges before Horwill's indiscretion, the former Wallaby skipper's swinging arm connecting with the tighthead prop's head as he tried to clear Rebels players away from a ruck.
Horwill had already announced he was leaving to join English outfit Harlequins after the World Cup in October with Reds supporters also awakening to news that fellow Wallaby, scrumhalf Will Genia, will also depart to join Stade Francais in Paris.
Genia's long time club and international halfback partner Quade Cooper had a poor game with the boot on Friday, missing two kickable penalties at the end of the first half after also fluffing a conversion as the teams went in level at 15-15.
Cooper then went off injured early in the second half but the Reds held firm in the wake of increasing Rebels pressure before Stirzaker crossed in the 66th minute after a strong run and pass by Sefanaia Naivalu.
Code-hopper Karmichael Hunt came off the bench to make his first appearance for the Reds since a six-week ban for cocaine possession but he was ineffectual in the final 13 minutes as Mike Harris kicked a late penalty to deny the Queenslanders a losing bonus point.
Tries:Lopeti Timani, Tom English, Nic Stirzaker
Conversions: Mike Harris
Penalties: Mike Harris (2)
Tries:James Horwill , Jake Schatz
Conversions: Quade Cooper
Penalties: Quade Cooper
Red card: James Horwill
15 Mike Harris, 14 Tom English, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Sefanaia Naivalu, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith
Substitutes: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Tim Metcher, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Colby Fainga'a, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Jordy Reid, 23 Bryce Hegarty
15 Lachie Turner, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Anthony Fainga’a, 11 James O’Connor, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 James Horwill, 4 Dave McDuling, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 James Slipper (captain)
Substitutes: 16 Ben Daley, 17 Saia Fainga’a, 18 Sef Faagase, 19 Marco Kotze, 20 Curtis Browning, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Chris Kuridrani, 23 Karmichael Hunt