The Sharks produced the first upset of the Currie Cup, with a 25-23 win over Western Province at a soggy Newlands on Saturday.
In the monsoon-like conditions the boot was always going to dominate, but Province surprised with how often they attempted to run the ball. However, their execution still let them down all too often.
Despite enjoying almost 80 percent of the territorial advantage, the home team squandered numerous chances - often inside the Sharks 22.
Two Joe Pietersen penalties gave Province and early (6-0) advantage, as they seemed to cope better with the monsoon-like conditions that enveloped Newlands.
WP's more energetic approach paid further dividends towards the end of the first quarter, as hooker Tiaan Liebenberg went over - hanging onto the ball at the back of a very good maul. Pietersen's conversion made it a deserved 13-0 lead.
The Sharks, who had turned down an earlier shot at goal only for WP to turn over the line-out, eventually got on the board in the 30th minute with a Meyer Bosman penalty.
That's how the score stayed, 13-3 to the home team, till the half-time break.
The Sharks got their second half underway in perfect fashion, playing with more purpose.
Sevens Springbok Paul Jordaan cut a swath through the WP defence to go over for a brilliant try. It came after a sublime chip from flyhalf Riaan Viljoen that was regathered by Meyer Bosman, who off-loaded to Jordaan.
Bosman failed with the conversion, but it mattered not - minutes later hooker Craig Burden picked up a loose ball, sprinted about 20 metres and slid another five for the visitors' second try. This time Bosman added the extras - a 15-13 lead after 45 minutes.
Province regained the lead with about 25 minutes left on the clock, as Pietersen slotted his third penalty of the match.
However, it was that man Burden again, as WP failed to control the restart and he collected another loose pass. His dive would not have been out of place at the Olympics either. Bosman's conversion saw the Sharks not only regain the lead, but stretch it to 22-16.
Veteran Sharks flank Jacques Botes, in a moment of madness, decided to trip an opponent when his team had the ball in hand. It earned him 10 minutes in the sin bin and left his team a man down at a very crucial stage in the game - with 13 minutes left on the clock.
The Sharks were made to pay for this moment of madness - WP captain Deon Fourie scoring the second try, after sitting at the back of another typical WP maul. Joe Pietersen added the extras and the home team had a one-point (23-22) lead with eight minutes on the clock.
Again WP failed to control the restart - with the ball bouncing off the hands of a Province player to give the Sharks a five-metre line-out. And Riaan Viljoen regained the lead for his team with a sweetly-struck drop-goal after a few quick phases - 25-23 and six minutes on the clock.
Pietersen had a chance to regain the lead, when the Sharks were blown for obstruction near their own 10-metre line, but this time he dragged the ball left as Botes returned to the playing field after his stint in the bin.
Another botched restart by WP then handed the Sharks an attacking scrum near the Province 10-metre line. A Viljoen kick then forced WP back into their own 22.
Despite taking the ball through multiple phases, WP never managed to get out their own half and eventually turned the ball over - handing the Sharks a vital away win.
For Western Province:
Tries: Liebenberg, Fourie
Con: Pietersen 2
Pens: Pietersen 3
For the Sharks:
Tries: Jordaan, Burden 2
Cons: Bosman 2
Yellow card: Jacques Botes (Sharks, 67 - foul play, tripping)