Bloemfontein - Sharks captain Keegan Daniel has lauded his side for their effort after they climbed to the top of the standings with one round left in the league stage of the Currie Cup competition.
The Durban-based side beat the Cheetahs 37-30 to overtake the Golden Lions at the summit of the log and book themselves a home semi-final.
"I am very proud of the guys," Daniel said.
"They did well to get the win over an eager Cheetahs side. We have been inconsistent playing away from home, but the team pulled together when we needed it most."
The Cheetahs dominated the early exchanges, but the visitors fought back to secure victory.
"We were off the pace in the first quarter, mainly because the Cheetahs put us under immense pressure," Daniel said.
"But the guys did well to recover from that."
The Durbanites are set to face Griquas in the final round before the playoffs as they aim to finish top of the log."We know Griquas will be a tough ask, but we have to pitch on the day."
The Cheetahs dropped to the bottom of the standings, despite picking up a bonus point, and they must beat Western Province in their final round-robin clash if they hope to reach the playoffs and avoid relegation.
Captain Robert Ebersohn admitted they had left themselves in a precarious position, but he believed they needed only one good performance to redeem themselves.
"It is very disappointing once again. We keep saying it week after week," Ebersohn said.
"We now have one game left to prove ourselves to people out there.
"We have some talented players like Raymond Rhule in the side, but rugby is a team sport. You need to play as a team."
WP will be bolstered by the return of their Springbok players, making life even more difficult for the Bloemfontein said.
"Hopefully we can achieve cohesion in the game against Province next weekend," Ebersohn said.
"Anything can happen on the day.
"Yes, they do get back their Springbok players, but so do we, so we're hoping for a much better performance."