Cape Town - The Blue Bulls have kept their playoff hopes alive as they defeated the Free State Cheetahs in their Currie Cup encounter at the Toyota Stadium on Friday evening.
The Blue Bulls won 64-36, after leading 26-17 at half-time.
The home side scored five tries through Lloyd Greeff, Gunther Janse van Vuuren and a hat-trick by Daniel Maartens.
Robbie Petzer landed three conversions and a penalty, while replacement Juan-Philip Smith landed a conversion.
Skipper Burger Odendaal led from the front by scoring a hat-trick, as the Pretoria-based franchise ran in ten tries through Ivan van Zyl, Duncan Matthews, Johan Grobbelaar, Tim Agaba and another hat-trick by Warrick Gelant.
Marnitz Boshoff landed five conversions, while replacement Tony Jantjies kicked two conversion in Bloemfontein.
This win for John Mitchell's charges sees them jump up to fourth on the Currie Cup standings by 27 points in their 11 games, while the Free State remain third on the log with 31 points.
In the final week of the standard fixtures before the playoffs, the Cheetahs will travel to Johannesburg to take on the Golden Lions on Saturday, October 14, while the Blue Bulls host the Pumas on Friday, October 13.
Free State Cheetahs
Tries: Greeff, Maartens (3), Janse van Vuuren
Conversions: Petzer (3), Smith
Tries: Van Zyl, Odendaal (3), Gelant (3), Matthews, Grobbelaar, Agaba
Conversions: Boshoff (4), Jantjies (2)
Free State Cheetahs
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 JW Jonker, 13 Ali Mgijima, 12 Lloyd Greeff, 11 Vuyani Maqina, 10 Robbie Petzer, 9 Zee Mkhabela, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Nicolaas Immelman, 6 Chris Dry (captain), 5 Carl Wegner, 4 Dennis Visser, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Johan Kotze
Substitutes: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Gunther Janse van Vuuren, 18 Andrew Kuhn, 19 Jeremy Jordaan, 20 Daniel Maartens, 21 JP Smith, 22 Stephan Janse van Rensburg
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Burger Odendaal (captain), 12 JT Jackson, 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Tim Agaba, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Aston Fortuin, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Matthys Basson, 18 Jano Venter, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Tony Jantjies, 22 Ulrich Beyers