Tumut showed their premiership credentials with their first win over Southcity in nine years.
The Blues couldn't quite match top three counterparts Gundagai and Southcity at home earlier in the season, but put in a gritty performance in the wet to take a 16-10 win at Harris Park on Sunday.
Co-coach Dean Bristow was pleased the side delivered on their promise.
"If we want to finish on top we had to win today," Bristow said. "I think that was the most telling factor and when the game was on the line we wanted it more and stood up for each other."
Bristow opened the scoring after 17 minutes when he bust through a tackle and then raced 75 metres to score.
The Blues then had a try denied when Ben Roddy was ruled offside from a Jordan Anderson kick and the Bulls took advantage of two penalties to level things up as Ben Lucas burrowed over with 10 minutes left in the first half.
However it was the Blues who took a 10-6 lead into the break as they created a big overlap and Todd Broad put Brayden Draber into score in what was the last play of the half.
The Blues went further in front as Adam Pearce scored seven minutes into the half before the Bulls set up a grandstand final with 22 minutes left as Mitch Bennett crossed off a kick the Blues let bounce.
Despite having two repeat sets on the Blues' line they couldn't find a way through.
While they left a few points out there after struggling to take their chances, defensively Bristow was thrilled with his side.
"It was still not our most clinical performance but the effort of the boys was there," he said.
"They had a lot of opportunities late in the game with a couple of back-to-back sets but every time you looked up there was another blue jumper there turning up.
"Our defence is what we've built ourselves on this year and it was great to see it shine again."
Southcity came into the clash down plenty of big names and things got worse when Hayden Jeans went down with a hamstring complaint after 15 minutes.
It helped the big Tumut pack get on top as they dictated terms in the middle.
Southcity coach Kyle McCarthy thought it was one of the reasons his team struggled.
"We were close but it was hard to execute our game plan of moving their middles around," McCarthy said.
"It was tough conditions and hard under foot to use your footwork.
"They dominated us quite a bit and we just couldn't get that quick play the ball to get on the attack."
The loss sees the Bulls slip back to second, ahead of Tumut only by percentage and one point behind Gundagai.