The Bulls managed to dish out a deadly double over the Sharks this weekend.
Their Super Rugby side won in Durban before the SuperSport Challenge side booked their semi-final spot by beating the Sharks XV in Cape Town on Sunday.
The inaugural SuperSport Challenge quarter-finals saw the Lions, Western Province, and a strong Griquas side join the Bulls for the right to reach the final of a tournament which has taken over from last year’s Currie Cup qualifiers.
The semi-finals will be played as a double-header at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane, outside East London.
The Lions will face the Griquas and Western Province will play the Blue Bulls on Sunday, July 9.
The opening quarter-final on Saturday was a high scoring one as the Lions overcame a spirited Pumas side 43-32 in Johannesburg.
The Lions finished top of the north conference with only one loss, and were paired up with the third-placed Pumas in the same group.
Ten tries were scored, six coming from the victorious Lions as Jarryd Sage and Robert Kruger grabbed a brace each.
In the later game on Saturday, Griquas wing Enver Brandt shone brightly for the Kimberly side, running in four tries as the Kings were routed 73-41 in Kimberley.
The Griquas scored 11 tries as the points flowed between these two attack-minded sides.
On Sunday at the Green Point Track in Cape Town, the Blue Bulls dug deep to batter the Sharks into submission, winning 23-18.
The weather did not help matters as the rain came down, forcing the game into a typical playoff-style encounter.
The Sharks scored three tries to the Bulls’ two, but Tinus de Beer’s three penalties and accurate kicking proved to be the deciding factor.
Western Province used their home advantage and knowledge of the inclement weather conditions superbly as they totally dominated the Cheetahs 26-0.
Unbeaten through eight group games, Western Province have now ploughed into the semi-finals with ease, and have even given up their right to host the playoffs in favour of taking the game to the people of East London.
Close to 14 000 spectators packed the Mdantsane venue during a recent rugby festival.
Western Province 26 – Tries: Michal Hazner, Bjorn Basson. Conversions: Brandon Thomson (2). Penalties: Kurt Coleman (3), Thomson (1).
Sharks XV 18 – Tries: Wian Vosloo, Lunga Mukendi, Courtney Winnaar. Penalty: Benhard Janse van Rensburg.
Blue Bulls 23 – Tries: Andrew Beerwinkel, Aston Fortuin. Conversions: Tinus de Beer, Joshua Stander. Penalties: De Beer (3).
Griquas 73 – Tries: Ederies Arendse, Enver Brandt (4), AJ le Roux, Eric Zana, Christiaan Meyer, Marius Fourie, Sias Koen, Koch Marx. Conversions: George Whitehead (9).
EP 41 – Tries: Sintu Manjezi, Brandon Brown, Lusanda Badiyana, Sonwabo Majola, Keanu Vers, SF Niewoudt. Conversions: Pieter-Steyn de Wet (3), Garrick Mattheus. Penalty: De Wet.
Golden Lions XV 43 – Tries: Dillon Smit, Robert Kruger (2), Madosh Tambwe, Jarryd Sage (2). Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (5). Penalty: Reynolds.
Pumas 32 – Tries: Nardus van der Walt, Reynier van Rooyen, Frank Hearne (2). Conversions: Kobus Marais (2), Justin van Staden. Penalties: Marais, Van Staden.