A last-minute try by Brumbies centre Tevita Kuridrani and a number of dubious decisions saw the Bulls go down 26-23 in their Super Rugby semifinal.
The Bulls cemented their local dominance in Super Rugby when they beat their closest rivals the Cheetahs 30-23 during the weekend's 16th round.
There comes a time when promise has to be turned into achievement. That moment has arrived for Naka Drotske's Cheetahs.
Centre Christian Lealiifano's 45-metre penalty goal after the siren gave the ACT Brumbies a 23-20 win over the Bulls in their Super Rugby encounter.
Springbok JJ Engelbrecht had a try disallowed after the full-time siren as the Reds clung on for a tense 23-18 win over the Bulls in Brisbane.
The Kings may be new in town but if they come out fighting they could take down rugby's old boys
Former Springbok captain Victor Matfield has joined the Bulls' coaching team for next year's Super Rugby campaign.
A powerful first half set the Canterbury Crusaders on their way to the Super 15 semi-finals when they beat the Bulls 28-13 in a play-off match.
South Africa and New Zealand's derby matches will determine which team holds the lead in the Super 15 when the competition goes into recess in June.
SA teams occupy three of the top six places in the Super 15 after the 12th round as the campaigns of New Zealand and Australian teams began to falter.
The Waikato Chiefs move to the top of the Super Rugby table, benefiting from a daring plan by the Crusaders, who beat the Stormers.
The Bulls will not apologise to Todd Blackadder, as the Crusaders coach had demanded, following claims of eye-gouging during their weekend match.
Waratahs' Berrick Barnes says he is taking an indefinite break to deal with concussion-related issues, putting his World Cup plans in doubt.
Saru said Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has called off a national World Cup planning camp due to potential Super Rugby commitments.
Ahead of Saturday's clash against the Stormers, Bulls captain Victor Matfield says the pressure is on both teams to qualify for the Super Rugby play
Sharks captain John Smit failed his fitness test on Thursday and will not feature in Saturday night's encounter against the Bulls in Durban.
Super Rugby's defending champions Bulls obliterated the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday night, with a 47-10 victory at Loftus Versfeld.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has promised that they would not expose potential World Cup players to unnecessary risks.
John Smit, the most capped Test captain in history, was on Monday confirmed by Saru as Springbok captain for the 2011 international season.
Two South African teams in the Super 14 final and some enlightened decisions from the authorities have given fans reasons to celebrate.