The Sharks handed the Bulls a harsh lesson, and a reality check, in their Super Rugby derby in Durban on Friday.
Outscoring the men from Pretoria by four tries to one, the Sharks not only left with a well-deserved 32-10 victory, they also moved into the top six on the standings - giving South Africa three teams in the play-off positions with one week of league action to go.
As Bulls captain Pierre Spies admitted afterwards, his team was demolished by a far superior outfit - a Sharks team that was more determined and more clinical than the visitors.
The Bulls finish their league fixtures against the Lions next week and will need a full five points, as will the Sharks who will play the Cheetahs.
For the Sharks:
Tries: B du Plessis, Pietersen, Daniel, Ludik
Cons: Michalak 2, Bosman
Pens: F Steyn, Michalak
For the Bulls:
Con: M Steyn
Pen: M Steyn
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandré Marais, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Odwa Ndungane.
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Dewald Potgieter, 5 Juandrè Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Francois Venter.
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Tiaan Jonker (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)