With most of the contenders winning Super 14 rugby playoffs, the race has intensified after round eleven with six teams in contention for the semi-finals.
While the Crusaders enjoy a seven point lead only five points separate second place from sixth.
The New South Waratahs push the Sharks back to third after beating the Durban based side 25-10. while Chiefs, who beat the Reds 32-20 are fourth one ahead of the Hurricanes after their a 38-10 win against the Cheetahs.
The sixth placed Stormers completed the round with a 26-16 win against the Highlanders in Cape Town.
The Blues loss to the Crusaders, their fifth in seven games, leaves them eighth, two behind the ACT Brumbies.