The Cheetahs kept their chances of reaching the play offs alive when they beat the Southern Kings 26-12 in Bloemfontein.
The victory keeps the pressure on the Stormers, Sharks and the Bulls in the South African Conference as the Cheetahs have two byes in hand.
The Cheetahs get their first bye next weekend but will be annoyed that they missed the fourth try as the bonus point would have put them on top of the South African Super Rugby Conference.
The result puts the Cheetahs into second place in the SA Super Rugby Conference and sixth overall. Next week's bye guarantees them four points.
The Cheetahs will welcome the bye after going through the last ten weeks of Super Rugby without a break.
Their seven wins from 10 matches have made them a strong contender to progress to the knockout stages.
The Kings looked the part early on, running everything at the Cheetahs with the likes of eighthman Jacques Engelbrecht keeping the Cheetahs' defence busy.
They put the hosts under pressure which resulted in the hosts kicking away possession.
The Kings' inability to keep possession at the break down, however, posed problems for them.
The Cheetahs put the first points on the board when the visitors gave away possession and Cheetahs' scrum half Piet van Zyl broke away.
Speedster Raymond Rhule followed up and beat two Kings' defenders for his fifth try of the Super Rugby season.
The Cheetahs gave away numerous penalties in the first half, with Kings flyhalf Demitri Catrakilis capitalising, but their first try gave the home side valuable momentum which they utilised at every opportunity.
Cheetahs flyhalf Burton Francis kicked a penalty to give his side a five point advantage in the 16th minute, but Catrakilis answered in kind after the hosts infringed at the break down area.
Ten minutes before half time, the Cheetahs scored their second try after flanker Lappies Labuschagne scored after a brilliant break by scrum half Van Zyl.
Francis converted, leaving the Kings trailing by nine points. The hosts discipline let them down once again and Catrakilis reduced the deficit to six points with his third successful penalty kick to leave the score 15-9 at halftime in favour of the Cheetahs.
The hosts started the second half at a mediocre pace, but soon played with the same attacking prowess they showed in the first half.
Putting together some good attacking phases, it was only a matter of time before winger Willie le Roux scored the Cheetahs third try of the evening.
The Kings defended for most part of the first five minutes, but got some reward for their efforts when Catrakilis kicked his fourth penalty of the evening.
Francis replied for the Cheetahs after big lock Ligtoring Landman was held up over the goal line in the wake of a penalty advantage.
Once again, it left the Kings 11 points short and they opted to kick for touch rather than goal with their next penalty.
The Cheetahs' solid defence, however, left no holes for the visitors and they in turn started to loose what little momentum they had.
The hosts progressed to the Kings goal line once again, but this time Francis kicked a penalty to help settle things down.
The last couple of minutes of the game became really scrappy as the Cheetahs searched in vain for a bonus point try.
Final Score Cheetahs 26 (15) Kings 12 (9)
Tries - R.Rhule, L.Labuschagne, W.Le Roux
Pen - B.Francis 3
Con - B.Francis
Pen - D.Catrakilis 4
Referee: Jonathon White
Assistant Ref 1:Marius Jonker
Assistant Ref 2:Stefan Breytenbach
TMO : Deon van Blommestein
Coenie Oosthuisen ,Adriaan Strauss (captain),Lourens Adriaanse, Lodewyk de Jager,Francois Uys,Heinrich Brussow, Lappies Labuschagne, Phillip van der Walt,Piet van Zyl, Burton Francis, Raymond Rhule, Robert Ebersohn,Johan Sadie, Willie le Roux, Hennie Daniller
Replacements: Ryno Barnes, Trevor Nyakane, Landman Ligtoring, Frans Viljoen , Tewis de Bruyn, Elgar Watts, Ryno Benjamin.
15. George Whitehead,11. Michael Killian,13. Ronnie Cooke,12. Andries Strauss (Captain),14. Siyanda Grey,10. Demetri Catrakilis,9. Shaun Venter,1. Schalk Ferreira,2. Bandise Maku,3. Kevin Buys,6. Cornell du Preez,4. Steve Sykes (Vice Captain),5. Rynier Bernado,7. Wimpie van der Walt,8. Jacques Engelbrecht
Replacements:16. Virgile Lacombe,17. Grant Kemp,18. David Bulbring,19. Luke Watson,20. Nicolas Vergallo,21. Waylon Murray,22. Siviwe Soyizwapi