A 14-man Bulls snatched a 22-20 win over Western Province in their Currie Cup encounter at Newlands on Saturday night.
Replacement back Marco Jansen van Vuren's late try proved decisive as the men from Pretoria claimed a win that looked unlikely when prop Jacques van Rooyen received a red card early in the second half.
AS IT HAPPENED: WP v Bulls
Trailing 20-15 in the dying stages, Van Vuren collected a cross-kick from flyhalf Chris Smith to score in the corner, with Smith slotting the conversion from out wide to seal a memorable win.
Both teams scored three tries but in the end it was Smith's boot that proved the difference, with the home side's goal-kickers struggling in windy conditions.
The Bulls were first on the scoreboard in the eighth minute when exciting winger Kurt-Lee Arendse went over in the corner after a great break in midfield from centre Cornal Hendricks.
Western Province flyhalf Damian Willemse put his side on the board with an easy penalty attempt in the 15th minute. The hosts kept probing and were unlucky not to go ahead when Willemse missed penalty attempts in the 20th and 23rd minutes. That frustration continued when winger Angelo Davids dropped the ball with an open goal-line in front of him in the 25th minute.
But WP kept probing and their efforts were rewarded when No 8 Juarno Augustus barged over for a try 32nd minute after a concerted period of attack.
Willemse converted to put WP ahead 10-5 in the 33rd minute.
Bulls pivot Smith missed a relatively easy penalty in the 35th minute as the teams went into the break with WP leading 10-5.
They thoroughly deserved their lead, having enjoyed 62% possession and 65% territory in the opening stanza.
The Bulls were first on the scoreboard in the second half when Smith slotted a long-range effort to bring his side to within two points (10-8).
The visitors were then dealt a heavy blow in the 47th minute when Van Rooyen received a red card for a late and dangerous tackle on WP fullback Warrick Gelant.
Television match official Rasta Rasivhenge initially suggested a yellow card but referee AJ Jacobs overturned the decision, saying there were no mitigating factors as Van Rooyen's hit was high, without arms and late.
WP extended their lead in the 59th minute when speedster Angelo Davids went over in the corner after collecting a clever kick in behind the defence from Willemse. It was started when replacement back Ruhan Nel intercepted a Bulls pass on the WP 22m area.
Willemse missed the tough conversion attempt in swirling wind but WP were ahead 15-8 heading into the final quarter.
But the Bulls refused to lie down and kept probing near the WP tryline. Their efforts were rewarded when Arendse went over for his second try in the 68th minute.
Smith converted an easy conversion attempt to level matters at 15-15 with little over 10 minutes remaining.
But the home side's response was emphatic, with flanker Ernst van Rhyn going over in the corner in the 70th minute to regain the lead. It came after some enterprising play from Nel in midfield.
Replacement flyhalf Tim Swiel couldn't convert but WP were ahead 20-15 with nine minutes left to play.
The home side had a chance to extend their lead when prop Steven Kitshoff won a penalty on the ground. But they opted against kicking for goal, with Swiel setting up an attacking lineout near the Bulls tryline.
WP failed to win their own lineout ball and the Bulls were allowed to breathe.
Moments later the Bulls were hot on the attack following a sniping break by Smith from inside his own half. The visitors then won a penalty and set up an attacking lineout near the WP tryline.
The Bulls were rewarded for their relentless pressure when Jansen van Vuren went over in the corner after collecting a clever cross-kick from Smith.
Smith proved the hero when he converted from the corner to put the Bulls ahead with two minutes remaining.
WP had one final scoring chance but they couldn't hang on to the ball as the Bulls bagged a memorable win.
Tries: Juarno Augustus, Angelo Davids, Ernst van Rhyn
Conversion: Damian Willemse
Tries: Kurt-Lee Arendse (2), Marco Jansen van Vuren
Penalty: Chris Smith
Conversions: Smith (2)
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Substitutes (from): 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Kwenzo Blose, 19 Neethling Fouche, 20 David Meihuizen, 21 Chris van Zyl, 22 Jaco Coetzee, 23 Marcel Theunissen, 24 Godlen Masimla, 25 Tim Swiel, 26 Ruhan Nel
15 David Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
Substitutes: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Clinton Swart, 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren