The Cheetahs secured their first ever Super Rugby over the Bulls when they beat the Pretoria franchise 15-9 in a tryless contest in Bloemfontein on Friday.
The Bloemfontein based Cheetahs had played the Bulls 11 times in Super Rugby but had never managed to beat the former champions - until now.
The Bulls kicked a late penalty two minutes from full time which earned them a losing bonus point which moved them off the bottom of the standings.
Springbok fly half Johan Goosen scored all of the Cheetahs points by kicking four penalties and a drop goal in pouring rain.
The Cheetahs started at a frantic pace, wanting to rectify their mistakes against the Lions last weekend. They put the Bulls under pressure early on and that led to points for the home side.
The Cheetahs practised the drop goal scenario, the same one that cost them the game against the Lions, all week and fly half Johan Goosen chose that option as early as the 2nd minute, slotting a good effort to give the hosts the early lead.
The hosts kept building on that pressure and Goosen also kicked a penalty in the 6th minute to stretch the lead to six points.
The one area where the Cheetahs struggled early on was in the scrums.
After two free kicks for delayed put ins, they were pinned for scrumming on the angle. Bulls fly half Louis Fouche however missed with his attempt.
Fouche got a second bite of the cherry in the 23rd minute and slotted home a penalty kick to get the Bulls on the scoreboard for the first time.
It was not long however before Goosen got the chance to stretch the Cheetahs lead, kicking two penalties within five minutes.
In the last couple of minutes before half time, the Bulls played some good attacking rugby, with stalwarts like lock Flip van der Merwe and prop Werner Kruger making good progress.
The Cheetahs defence held steady, even when the Bulls were awarded a scrum five metres from their try line.
Fouche almost had the last say in the first half, but his kicking boot let him down once again and the Cheetahs ended the first half with a comfortable lead of 12-3.
The second half started with some aerial ping pong between the sides before Fouche squandered another penalty attempt. He was replaced shortly thereafter by Handre Pollard and the Bulls back line started to look a little more attacking.
Pollard got the chance to reduce the deficit shortly after his appearance, but missed to the right for what was the third missed attempt for the Bulls.
Pollard finally got one right in the 52nd minute, kicking a much needed penalty to reduce the deficit to six points.
That inspired the Bulls to new heights, but Goosen again opened up the lead to nine points with a penalty in the 60th minute.
With the rain pouring down in the last 20 minutes, the Bulls started throwing the ball around. This however did not have the desired effect, with many passes going astray. The Cheetahs, with star playmaker Willie le Roux at the forefront, opted to play more tactically, putting kicks in behind to pin the visitors in their own half.
With the rain pouring down, the Cheetahs gave a huge defensive effort, with Pollard's final penalty in the 79th minute giving the Bulls a bonus point.
Victory for the Cheetahs gives them a physcological boost before their departure for their Australasian tour on Sunday.
Final Score Cheetahs 15 (12) Bulls 9 (3)
Pen - J.Goosen 4
Drop - J.Goosen
Pen - L.Fouche, H.Pollard 2
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant Ref 1: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant Ref 2:Francois de Bruin (South Africa)
TMO:Shaun Veldsman (South Africa) with Nic van Stryp (South Africa) in training
1. Caylib Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c ), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 5 Francois Uys, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 8 Philip van der Walt, 9 Shaun Venter, 10 Johan Goosen, 11 Raymond Rhule, 12 Francois Venter ( vc ), 13 Johann Sadie, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 15 Willie le Roux
Replacements : 16. Ryno Barnes, 17. Trevor Nyakane, 18. Maks van Dyk, 19. Ligtoring Landman, 20. Jean Cook, 21. Sarel Pretorius, 22. Elgar Watts, 23. Hennie Daniller,
Jurgen Visser , Akona Ndungane (vc), JJ Engelbrecht , Jan Serfontein , Bjorn Basson , Louis Fouche , Francois Hougaard, Jacques Engelbrecht, Jacques du Plessis , Jono Ross , Grant Hattingh , Flip van der Merwe(c) , Werner Kruger , Callie Visagie, Dean Greyling .
Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi , Frik Kirsten , Marcel van der Merwe, Victor Matfield, Wian Liebenberg, Piet van Zyl, Handre Pollard, Ulrich Beyers.