Referee Nick Briant gives Nic Stirzaker a yellow card during Friday's match.

Referee Nick Briant sends Nic Stirzaker to the bin during Friday's match. Photo: Getty Images

Melbourne Rebels winger Tom English believes his club's newfound maturity and depth will allow them to handle possible suspensions to co-captain Scott Higginbotham and scrum-half Nic Stirzaker.

The Rebels made club history on Friday night winning their first game on foreign soil with a 20-10 victory over the Crusaders at Christchurch Stadium.

But the gloss of that win faded a little on Saturday when Higginbotham and Stirzaker were cited by the SANZAR Judiciary for stamping.

Stirzaker was sin-binned for 10 minutes early in the game for stamping on Crusader Richie McCaw while a video review cited Higginbotham for allegedly stamping on McCaw in the 50th minute.

Both players starred in the win with Higginbotham's physical presence crucial and Stirzaker scoring the match-winning try in the 65th minute.

With the Rebels playing their first home game of the season against NSW Waratahs at AAMI Park on Friday night, losing either star would force changes to their line-up.

English said winning overseas was a "surreal" experience but his side would quickly switch attention to playing against the reigning Super Rugby premiers.

"It was a foreign feeling for most of us, getting a win there was bizarre because the crowd was just silent so it was just you and your teammates celebrating," English said on Saturday.

"It's something I'll certainly treasure. But we can't dwell on it or anything else because we have a job to do against the Tahs."

Should Higginbotham be suspended it's likely Jordy Reid will come in or impressive forward Lopeti Timani take his co-captain's position at No. 8.

The Rebels also have depth at scrum-half with former Wallabies half Luke Burgess and Ben Meehan capable of replacing Stirzaker.

"I dont think it's a big issue, it's external to the squad," English said.

"We'll let the procedures run their course, they are quality players but we have guys who can cover for them and after seeing everyone play well during preseason we trust everyone in the squad."

Starting fly-half Jack Debreczeni was forced off in the first half with concussion so will also need to be cleared to face the Warratahs.

The Rebels worked in the offseason to bolster their playing list and their coaching staff, bringing in people who had enjoyed success at other clubs.

English said the maturity shown by the team to hold their lead for the whole second half on Friday night was a major step forward.

"It showed maturity to grind out that game," English said. "In the past at that same stadium we lost by a point because we didn't know how to control the back half of the game but we actually did that this time.

"Nic Stirzaker's try was a game-changer, it gave us a lift and then we did everything we could to consolidate our lead."

Rebels reserve wide man Sefanaia Naivalu also made club history in the second half when he came on becoming the first player to graduate from Victorian club rugby's Dewar Shield into the Rebels' first team.

With the chance to move to 2-0 on Friday night, English said his side was looking forward to running out on AAMI Park.

"We love our home games and playing in such a unique stadium," English said.

"We can't wait for this match and want to put in another solid performance."

 Melbourne Rebels play NSW Waratahs at AAMI Park this Friday at 7.40pm.