It was a lively start to the contest, with 17-year-old Desire Doue showing flashes of skill for Rennes.
At the other end of the pitch - and the age spectrum - Steve Mandanda, who turned 38 on Tuesday, smothered smartly at the feet of the in-form Lois Openda before displaying lightning reflexes to thwart Facundo Medina as Lens looked for a third straight victory.
Haise’s men continued to apply pressure and centre-back Kevin Danso really should have opened the scoring, instead heading wide from Angelo Fulgini’s inviting delivery.
Bruno Genesio’s side had still not taken a shot in anger as the clock ticked past the half-hour mark and were soon made to pay. Lens captain Seko Fofana found Florian Sotoca and the forward hung up a teasing right-wing cross which was flicked home by Openda for his sixth goal in three league matches.
That moment seemed to briefly spur the hosts into life as former Lens players Armand Kalimuendo and Benjamin Bourigeaud combined threateningly, only for the latter to be denied by the crossbar via a deflection off Medina before Bourigeaud’s incisive ball close to halftime was wastefully guided off target by Karl Toko Ekambi.
Genesio elected not to make any changes at the break, and although his team seemed slightly more energised at the start of the second period than the first, they perhaps should have been 2-0 down on 53 minutes as Openda sped clear and fed Fofana, who nodded over to undo his team-mate’s good work.
Amine Gouiri, Lovro Majer and Baptiste Santamaria were soon brought on to help turn the tide, but ex-Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba wasn’t called into action until the 70th minute, blocking Kalimuendo’s shot with the sole of his right boot.
The result represented Rennes’ third home defeat in four as their chances of securing Champions League football suffered a further setback, while Lens may still be harbouring faint hopes of challenging Paris Saint-Germain for the title after moving within six points of Christophe Galtier’s leaders.