An excellent goal-kicking display from Louis FouchÃ¨ guided the Blue Bulls to a deserved 42-31 victory over the Sharks in Pretoria.
FouchÃ¨ notched 27 points via six penalties, three conversions and a drop goal to secure his team's second win of the season and end the Sharks unbeaten run in the competition.
The Bulls held an early 6-0 lead after two penalties by FouchÃ¨ but the match came alive in the 22n minute when Sharks captain Jean Deysel scored the opening try of the match.
Steven Sykes laid the groundwork for the try when he capitalised on an error by Visser, who failed to deal with an up-and-under from Riaan Viljoen.
Sykes pounced on the loose ball before racing towards the try-line and when Visser managed to haul him in, in front of the try-line, he had the presence of mind to get a pass away to the on-rushing Deysel who crashed over the whitewash.
FouchÃ¨ regained the lead when he succeeded with a penalty in the 26th minute and pushed his team further in front with a well-taken drop goal in the 38th minute.
On the stroke of half-time Sykes was in the clear inside the Bulls' 22 again but once again he managed to free his arms and get an offload when he was stopped just short of the try-line.
This time it was Charl McLeod who benefitted from Sykes' unselfishness to get in for the visitors' second try.
The second half saw the home side taking control of proceedings with FouchÃ¨ at the forefront of their fightback. He slotted two penalties to give his side a seven-point lead in the 50th minute.
Shortly afterwards CJ Stander scored the Bulls' first try when he was put into space by Akona Ndungane after a blistering run down the touchline by the former Springbok.
The Sharks, managed to narrow the gap to a point when Marius Joubert burrowed his way over the try-line in the 56th minut but after that it was one-way traffic as the hosts added another 17 points to secure the victory.
FouchÃ¨ added another penalty on the hour mark to make the score 28-24 and Arno Botha crossed the whitewash for their second try after Stander did well to draw in two defenders before offloading to his team-mate.
The Bulls made sure of the result in the 70th minute when Francois Venter got in for their third try and although Odwa Ndungane scored a try in injury time to secure a try-scoring bonus point for the the Sharks it was not enough to secure them a win or another bonus point for losing by less than seven points.
For Blue Bulls:
Tries: Stander, Botha, Venter
Cons: FouchÃ¨ 3
Pens: FouchÃ¨ 6
Drop goal: FouchÃ¨
Tries: Deysel, McLeod, Joubert, Ndungane
Cons: Viljoen 4
Blue Bulls: 15 JÃ¼rgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Clayton Blommetjies, 10 Louis FouchÃ¨, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Dewald Potgieter (c), 7 CJ Stander, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Dawie Steyn.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Cornell Hess, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Lionel CronjÃ¨, 22 Jan Serfontein.
The Sharks:15 Louis Ludik, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Marius Joubert, 11 S'bura Sithole, 10 Riaan Viljoen, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Jacques Botes, 7 Jean Deysel (c) 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Monde Hadebe, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Julian Redelinghuys, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Lubabalo "Tera" Mtembu, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Gouws Prinsloo.
Referee: Jaco Peyper