The Blue Bulls were able to overcome the Golden Lions 31-17 when they played the reigning champions in Pretoria on Friday.
The Lions tried their free flowing, progressing rugby but it was stifled by a strong Bulls defensive line.
The win sees the Blue Bulls jump to second on the log just behind the unbeaten Sharks and knock out the Cheetahs from their top two spot. The Lions meanwhile drop to fifth place to take the Bulls' previous standing.
The Lions will rue handling errors and a lack of tactical execution as they could not seem to find their Super Rugby form in the local competition.
Blue Bulls fly-half Tian Schoeman had a mercurial day off the tee as he knocked over six kicks from all over the park. He also controlled the line with expert precision to set his backline alight.
The Bulls got the first points of the game when Schoeman got a three-pointer when the Lions were pinged for not releasing the ball at the breakdown.
Lions centre Howard Mnisi scored the first try of the game when Rohan Janse Van Rensburg took the ball gallantly and crashed into the defence before Ross Cronje made some good ground before giving it off to Mnisi who cantered over the line for the five-pointer.
The Bulls reply came through Travis Ismaiel after the speedster snapped up an interception in his own 10 metre line and ran the length of the field for the try.
The Bulls opened up the scoring in the second half after the home side orchestrated a great tactical line-out and Marvin Orie took the ball over with ease after being left unmarked.
Sevens star and Lions flanker Kwagga Smith then closed the gap on their Northern rivals and made the home side question their dominance of the game after scoring.
Blue Bulls replacement Joshua Stander then finished off a brilliant, piercing run from the prolific Ismaiel. The winger ran a diagonal line across the field and broke through the Lions defence, before finding himself in a simple two-on-one and gave off to Stander to finish it off.
For Blue Bulls:
Tries: Ismaiel, Orie, Stander
Cons: Schoeman 2
Pens: Schoeman 4
For Golden Lions:
Tries: Mnisi, Smith
Cons: Boshoff 2
Blue Bulls: 15 Duncan Matthews, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Arno Botha (c), 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Martin Dreyer, 18 Nic de Jager, 19 Roelof Smit, 20 Andre Warner, 21 Joshua Stander, 22 Ulrich Beyers
Golden Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje (c), 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Lourens Erasmus, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Jacques van Rooyen, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Dylan Smith
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Victor Sekekete, 19 Fabian Booysen, 20 Dillon Smit, 21 Jaco van der Walt, 22 Jacques Nel
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Francois Pretorius, Jaco Pretorius
TMO: Johan Greeff