Utilising their pack's power the Blues eventually overwhelmed the Rebels and demonstrated how effective their attacking game could be when securing quality ball.
Assistant coach Tom Coventry said: "It was a much-improved performance. It took us a while to break the Rebels down. They were pretty stern to start and put up some really good defensive efforts against us and they were very competitive at the set-piece. But I think we went around our work, wearing them down, used a bit of scoreboard pressure which was nice," he said.
Having captain and flanker Tom Robinson score in the corner on halftime was the reward for good, sustained pressure, he said.
They then continued that pressure into the second half effectively.
There had been some time to settle with the scrum due to different interpretations, but the Blues' scrum had been strong in the end, and having Nepo Laulala and Ofa Tuungafasi available from the bench had been a help.
"It was a big part to play and it was pretty demoralising for them at the end. They were struggling to exert any pressure in that area. And it flowed into our game for the new boys to get a bit of confidence in the new competition considering we probably weren't as good in that area as we needed to be in the last comp [Super Rugby Aotearoa]," he said.
Coventry said fullback Zarn Sullivan impressed again with another chance taken. He landed a good, long-range penalty goal and had run into the backline well.
Locks Gerard Cowley-Tuioti and Josh Goodhue were strong throughout and, towards the end, made some good line breaks and used some good, short passes.
Coventry said he expected there would be more of a levelling out of performances as the competition developed. Having some close games was good, but he thought other teams would get up to speed after being exposed to the opposing sides and assessing each other's strengths and weaknesses.
Nothing changed for the Blues as they got home and started to prepare for the Waratahs on Saturday afternoon at Eden Park.
They were still looking to back up good performances and to play with consistency.
"I think everyone acknowledged that we weren't where we needed to be with consistency in the last competition, we get to reset ourselves and look at growing ourselves into this competition rather than getting too far ahead of ourselves," he said.