Sportal.co.nz 22.Sep.2013Getty Images
A brace from Lwazi Mvovo and further scores from SP Marais, Heimar Williams, Tim Whitehead, Keegan Daniel and Cobus Reinach helped secure a 50-26 victory in Durban.
And the margin of the win brought an all-important bonus point to take Natal level with Western Province and into top spot by virtue of a superior points difference.
Western Province's dethroning came in spite of their 19-13 home victory against Griquas on Friday, which saw an impressive effort from the league's whipping boys.
Griquas held a 10-6 lead going into half-time thanks to Nico Scheepers' try, but they could not hold on as a score from Nic Groom and the boot of Kurt Coleman took the match away.
Despite the disappointment of losing, the six-point margin of Griquas' defeat handed them a bonus point that took them off the bottom.
However, they were sent straight back there following the completion of the round's final game, as Blue Bulls ran in four tries in defeat to Golden Lions.
The Lions ran out 35-26 victors at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg, as they held on despite seeing a 21-point lead whittled down in the final 10 minutes.