Sharks fly-half Curwin Bosch kicked four penalties and converted a try he created for winger Madosh Tambwe in a 19-13 South African Super Rugby Unlocked win over the Cheetahs in Durban Friday.
The result of a fifth-round match that came alive in the closing stages after being scrappy for a long time saw the Sharks and Cheetahs exchange places in the table behind leaders the Bulls.
Bulls have 15 points, Sharks 13 and Cheetahs 12 with each team having two matches to play in the single-round competition that signalled the return of rugby in South Africa after a coronavirus-induced suspension.
"It certainly was not pretty but I was really impressed with our workrate," said Bosch, one of several South African fly-halves vying to be the number one understudy to first choice Handre Pollard.
"I take pride in my goal-kicking and it was great to finish with a five-from-five record tonight. Many thanks to former Springbok Patrick Lambie for helping me with this aspect of my game."
Bosch slotted two penalties to earn the Durban outfit a 6-0 half-time advantage after a stop-start opening 40 minutes riddled with errors.
Apart from numerous handling mistakes by both sides, the Sharks struggled at the scrums while the Cheetahs botched several line-out throws when in favourable positions.
Cheetahs lock Carl Wegner was sin-binned just before half-time after the referee grew impatient with numerous infringements by the visitors from Bloemfontein.
Although a man short, the Cheetahs reduced arrears when fly-half Tian Schoeman slotted a penalty after an earlier failed attempt.
Bosch and Schoeman exchanged penalties to leave the Sharks 9-6 ahead 13 minutes from time at a spectator-less Kings Park stadium because of the pandemic.
The match sprang to life when Cheetahs centre William Small-Smith burst though for a try Schoeman converted to build a four-point lead.
But the visitors were unable to hold on after wing Rosko Specman was yellow-carded and a Bosch cross-kick allowed substitute Tambwe to evade two tackles and score the match-winning try.
Bosch converted before kicking a post-hooter penalty from inside his half to complete the scoring and end the unbeaten record of the Cheetahs.
Defeat completed a disappointing week for the losers, whose postponed match against the Covid-19-affected Lions was declared a draw, giving the Cheetahs two points instead of a possible five for a bonus-point win.