The first half was a mostly lethargic affair, with the players wisely conserving their energy in the hot afternoon sun.
SuperSport started stronger and had a strong penalty appeal in the 10th minute turned down by the referee. Oupa Manyisa was perhaps fortunate not to haveconceded a spot-kick with what seemed a trip on Lebogang Manyama.
The hosts came close to opening the scoring through Thuso Phala just before the midway point of the first half, but the winger was denied by a good save from goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa.
Pirates gradually established a foothold in the game and finally called Ronwen Williams into action in the 23rd minute when Kermit Erasmus shot from just outside the box – his effort resulted in a comfortable save for the keeper.
SuperSport then had their turn of good fortune when Edwin Gyimah’s clumsy two-footed lunge on Happy Jele in the area was deemed fair by referee Victor Hlungwane.
Williams produced an excellent save just before the break to touch Tlou Segolela’s shot onto the outside of his near post.
Chances continued to be few and far between in the early part of the second half, but on 63 minutes the persistence of Enocent Mkhabela saw him break through three challenges before shooting on goal, but Meyiwa produced an excellent diving save to turn the ball away.
With 15 minutes to play Bucs made a double change to try and spruce up their attack, but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock moments later. Phala broke free down the right and fired in a low cross that Grobler turned home from close range.
Shortly thereafter Phala almost made it 2-0 with a shot from a tight angle, but Meyiwa made another excellent save to keep his side in the contest.
The United winger had another great chance on the counter attack in injury-time, but he pulled his shot wide of the far post.
Despite the defeat, Pirates remain in fourth spot, with SuperSport joining them on 37 points, but trailing on goal-difference.