The Stormers were pushed to the edge but held on to beat the Cheetahs 16-14 in a Super Rugby match at Newlands on Saturday.
The result allowed the Bulls to slip a point ahead of the Stormers as they failed to secure a four try bonus point and remain in second place in the South African conference.
The Stormers were outscored by two tries to one in the match but as usual Peter Grant's boot made the difference with his three penalties.
The game was poised on a knife-edge as the Cheetahs clawed their way back in the last quarter of the match after they kept the Stormers from scoring in the second half.
But the Stormers' 16-0 halftime cushion was ultimately enough to see the home side to victory after 80 minutes.
The Cheetahs showed early intent to run the ball from inside their own half but they came up against a solid defence in the opening five minutes.
At that stage they seemed determined to continue in that fashion and the Stormers looked comfortable absorbing the pressure.
When the Stormers managed to change the flow of the match the Cheetahs battled to contain several sorties into their 22-metre area and they often offended at the breakdowns.
In the space of six minutes, the Cheetahs were penalised three times and Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant was on target with all three attempts to give his side a 9-0 lead after only 15 minutes.
The Stormers lifted their play with several attacking movements which saw fine inter-play as the forwards combined well with the backs.
This resulted in pressure on the Cheetahs defence and they finally yielded in the 23rd minute when lock Eben Etzebeth crashed over near the Railway Stand corner flag. Grant goaled splendidly from the touchline (16-0).
The Stormers started the second half strongly and they were nearly in at the Grandstand corner flag but Grant was bundled out by the Cheetahs' cover defence.
The Stormers looked to add more pressure but the Cheetahs staged a break-out from their 22-metre area to lay the platform for their opening try.
The Stormers' defence out wide failed to contain the attack and Hennie Daniller rounded off splendidly in the corner. Substitute Riaan Smit converted.
In the 55th minute a free-for-all lasting some four minutes saw the play held up and Stormers flank Rynhardt Elstadt was yellow carded.
The Stormers continued to hold the upper hand in the match and looked set for another advance as they came within a whisker of scoring a few times bu they were rocked by a Willie le Roux intercept pass virtually on his own try line.
He sprinted the length of the field to score in the corner. Smit again raised the flags from the touchline.
Towards the end the Stormers managed to regain some control but they were unable to add to their 16 first-half points.
Final Score Stormers 16 (16) Cheetahs 14 (0)
Tries - E. Etzebeth
Pen - P. Grant 3
Cards - R. Elstadt (yellow)
Tries - H. Daniller, W. Le Roux
Con - R. Smit 2
Referee: Steve Walsh
Assistant Ref 1: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant Ref 2: Christie Du Preez
TMO : Shaun Veldsman
15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean De Villiers (c), 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker (vc), 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16. Tiaan Liebenberg, 17. Frans Malherbe, 18. De Kock Steenkamp, 19. Jebb Sinclair, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Burton Francis, 22. Gerhard Van Den Heever.
1 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 3 WP Nel, 4 George Earle, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 7 Justin Downey, 8 Philip van der Walt, 9 Piet van Zyl, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 11 Willie le Roux, 12 Andries Strauss (vc), 13 Robert Ebersohn, 14 Cameron Jacobs, 15 Hennie Daniller.
Replacements: 16. Hercu Liebenberg, 17. Trevor Nyakane, 18. Andries Ferreira, 19. Ashley Johnson, 20. Tewis de Bruyn, 21. Riaan Smit, 22. Philip Snyman.