The Blue Bulls kept their hopes of making the semi-finals alive, when they beat the Golden Lions 21-18 in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The Pretoria-based side gave a fine defensive display which layed the foundation for this win.
Although the Lions, who are the pacesetters in the standings, came back strongly in the second half, they could not pull off this win and suffered only their second defeat of the campaign.
The Blue Bulls opened the scoring in the second minute when scrum-half Jano Vermaak scored after Bjorn Basson did well in the build-up by giving a deft chip kick for Vermaak to chase.
The ball came to a standstill just over the Lions' tryline and Vermaak dived on to the ball for a deserved try.
The Lions could not get their usual flowing game going as the Blue Bulls' defence held them at bay for most of the first half.
The visitors extended their lead in the 21st minute when Warwick Tecklenburg crashed over from close quarters.
This try was set up by fly-half Louis Fouche who ghosted past the home side's defence, before being stopped just short of the tryline.
The first half saw the Lions conceding several penalties in the rucks and Fouche made them pay for their mistakes by slotting two penalties during this period.
However, the Bulls can also consider themselves lucky as they played with 14 men for 20 minutes of this match.
Shortly before half-time Springbok prop Dean Greyling was yellow carded for continuous infringing at the rucks.
And just before his return from the sin bin, centre Wynand Olivier was also sent to the cooler for a shoulder charge on Jaco Taute.
Before Olivier's dismissal, Lions came back into the match with a well taken try by Michael Killian, shortly after the restart and in the 59th minute captain Josh Strauss rounded off a fine team effort to draw the sides level.
Fouche sealed the win for the visitors in the 62nd minute when he landed a well-taken drop goal from just outside the Lions' quarter.
Although the hosts went all out to for the win, they were met by resilient defence from their determined opponents, who clung to their lead for the remainder of the match.
For Blue Bulls:
Tries: Vermaak, Tecklenburg
Pens: Fouche 2
Drop goal: Fouche
For Golden Lions:
Tries: Killian, Strauss
Pens: Jantjies 2
Golden Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Doppies la Grange, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Joshua Strauss (c), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 David Bulbring, 19 Warren Whiteley, 20 AN Other, 21 Burton Francis, 22 James Kamana.
Blue Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Gerhard van den Heever, 10 Louis Fouche, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Gary Botha (c), 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Dustin Jinka, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Jurgen Visser.
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe