The Sharks ended their ten-match Currie Cup losing streak against the Cheetahs when they defeated the Bloemfontein-based team 22-10 at Absa Stadium on Saturday night.
The Sharks led 17-10 at halftime.
After a rather indifferent start to proceedings, Cheetahs flank and captain Juan Smith capitalised on a crooked throw in at the lineout by Sharks hooker Bismarck du Plessis.
Smith collected the ball just ten metres out and cantered over for the opening try of the match in the thirteenth minute.
Yet just moments later, Sharks centre Frans Steyn broke through the Cheetahs defence from 30m out and from there he fed the ball to Deon Carstens who went over unopposed. Sharks scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar added the extra two to tie things up at 7-7.
Then with ten minutes left on the clock until half-time, the visitors edged into the lead after scrumhalf Tewis de Bruyn slotted an easy penalty.
However, this clearly had no bearing on the Sharks’ confidence as they patiently played percentage rugby with lock Steven Sykes eventually reaping the rewards as he barged over for the Sharks’ second try.
Pienaar duly converted the try to make it 14-10 and then, minutes later, Steyn produced a moment of magic.
Collecting a Cheetahs clearance kick in his own half, he took a couple of strides forward and lined up a drop-goal from 55m out and it sailed high, long and sweet to take the Sharks into a seven point lead that they took into half-time.
After an absolutely dominant display in the third quarter, the Sharks eventually turned their ascendancy into points with No8 Keegan Daniel taking advantage of a massive overlap to score the Sharks’ third try midway through the second stanza.
The Sharks continued to control proceedings for the rest of the match and although they couldn’t secure the bonus point try it could not detract from a magnificent win that sees them go back to the top of the log.