Auckland - The Blues gave their semi-final hopes a boost with a stirring 32-17 win over the Bulls at Eden Park on Saturday, ending the Super 14 champions' undefeated six-game streak this season.
Flyhalf Stephen Brett was razor-sharp in front of the posts, slotting six out of seven penalty goals and both conversion chances to amass 22 points and help the Blues win their fourth from seven this season.
The Bulls were undisciplined throughout, conceding 14 penalties and repeatedly falling foul of the referee at the breakdown.
"They beat us at the breakdown and dominated the contact points," Bulls skipper Victor Matfield said in a televised interview.
"We knew it was going to be tough, just on the night we didn't come and we didn't perform."
Trailing 16-14, the Bulls were reduced to 14 men when replacement Pedrie Wannenburg was sent off in the 52nd minute for killing the ball in the breakdown.