The Rebels won their first Super Rugby match away from home when they beat the Force 25-26 in Perth on Saturday.
Both teams scored three tries each but O'Connor could only land four of eight goal-kicking attempts, whereas Rebels fullback Danny Cipriani kicked four from six
James O'Connor had the chance to convert a penalty and give the Force the lead in the 74th minute, but his kick just missed to the left of the uprights and it was the last chance the home team had.
The match started for the Rebels as it did last week with them conceding early points and trailing 12-0 before recovering to snatch the result.
The Rebels have now won an amazing three out of their seven matches which is put into perspective when one considers that the former champion Brumbies have won 1 out of their 6 matches.
The result moves the Rebels into ninth place overall and third in the Australian conference. They have the bye next week which will earn them four points and will keep them in the hunt.
Mark Gerrard, Richard Kingi and Hugh Pyle scored tries for the Rebels, while Nathan Charles, Rory Sidey and Sam Wykes touched down for the Force.
The Force led 15-0 early but ill discipline and errors allowed the Rebels back in the game.
A charging run from Wykes put Sidey over for a 65th-minute converted try that took the Force to within one point. O'Connor had a chance to win the game moments after his run down the flank almost led to a try, but his penalty shot from out wide was wide.
Wykes scored the opening try of the match in the fourth minute.
O'Connor converted and then set up the next try five minutes later, running 50 meters before sending Charles over the line for a 12-0 lead.
Melbourne began their comeback with a penalty goal to Cipriani in the 15th. That was repeated two more times in the first half by the Englishman.
The Rebels scored their first try in the 20th minute when Gerrard crossed in his first game since injuring his shoulder in the fourth round.
It was 15-14 to the Force at halftime. The Rebels took the lead soon after the break with Pyle intercepting a pass from Cameron Shepherd 30 metres out and scoring on debut.
Five minutes later, the Rebels extended its lead after clever play by Cipriani, who the Force had presumed was taking a penalty shot at goal. Instead he kicked across field for Kingi to gather the ball and score.
"I'm really proud of the boys," he said.
"Two wins in a row is an unusual feeling for us - the monkey off the back."
Force captain Nathan Sharpe could barely comprehend another narrow defeat.
"That is disappointing to lose that one," he said.
"There were too many mistakes from our team tonight, it was very frustrating."
Final Score Force 25 (15) Rebels 26 (14)
Tries - S Wykes,N Charles, R Sidey
Pen - J O'Connor 2
Con - J O'Connor 2
Tries - M Gerrard, H. Pyle, R Kingi
Pen - D Cipriani 3
Con - D Cipriani
Cards - M. Gerrard. 26th min Yellow
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referee: Ian Smith (Australia), Angus Gardner (Australia)
Television match official: Matt Goddard (Australia)
Western Force:1. Pek Cowan,2. Nathan Charles,3. Tim Fairbrother,4. Sam Wykes,5. Nathan Sharpe (c),6. Richard Brown,7. Matt Hodgson (vc),8. Ben McCalman,9. Brett Sheehan,10. James O'Connor,11. David Smith,12. Gene Fairbanks,13. Nick Cummins,14. Alfie Mafi,15. Cameron Shepherd
Reserves:16. Ben Whittaker,17. Kieran Longbottom,18. Tom Hockings,19. Tevita Metuisela,20. James Stannard,21. Matt Brandon,22. Pat Dellit
Rebels :1 Nic Henderson , 2 Ged Robinson , 3 Greg Somerville , 4 Alister Campbell , 5 Hugh Pyle , 6 Jarrod Saffy , 7 Michael Lipman , 8 Gareth Delve (vc) , 9 Nick Phipps , 10 Danny Cipriani , 11 Luke Rooney , 12 Stirling Mortlock (c) , 13 Lachlan Mitchell , 14 Richard Kingi , 15 Mark Gerrard
Replacements : 16 Luke Holmes , 17 Laurie Weeks , 18 AN Other, 19 Tim Davidson , 20 Sam Cordingley , 21 Peter Betham , 22 Afusipa Taumoepeau