Pretoria - The Sharks claimed a valuable Currie Cup scalp when they ousted the Blue Bulls 28-20 at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday.
The men from Durban, who led 13-10 at half-time, ran in four tries to claim a bonus-point win with Garth April finishing with a 13-point haul courtesy of a try, two penalties and a conversion.
The defeat is the Bulls' first one of the season and means the Sharks are now in joint first place on the table with the Free State Cheetahs, who have played one match less than the men from Durban.
In the third minute, the Sharks drew first blood as S'busiso Nkosi gathered a pass from Inny Radebe before beating three defenders on his way over the try line.
Ten minutes later, Burger Odendaal ran a good angle and after gathering the ball on the Sharks' 22m line, he shrugged off a couple of defenders before crashing over for a deserved try which Tony Jantjies converted.
Shorlty afterwards, the Sharks crossed for their second try thanks to Franco Marais.
The home side were dealt a blow in the 26th minute when Ruben van Heerden was sent to the sin bin for deliberately tripping Tera Mtembu during a Sharks attack inside the Blue Bulls' half.
Shortly afterwards, Boom Prinsloo was penalised for a high tackle on Inny Radebe and Garth April - who failed to convert the two tries - slotted the three-pointer from the kicking tee which meant the visitors led 13-7.
Just before half-time, the Sharks were blown up for illegal scrummaging and Jantjies slotted the resulting penalty.
In the 52nd minute, Lukhanyo Am ran onto a pass from Benhard Janse van Rensburg - just outside the Bulls' 22 - and beat three defenders before scoring under the posts.
April added the extras before Jantjies reduced the deficit in the 57th minute when he slotted his second penalty.
Five minutes later, April restored parity when he landed his second penalty but the Blue Bulls upped the ante on attack and were rewarded when Van Heerden barged over from close quarters in the 65th minute.
Jantjies converted which meant the match was evenly poised with the Sharks leading 23-20.
The Sharks sealed off their win in style when April gathered an inside pass from Janse van Rensburg before crossing for the match-winning try.
The Sharks next face the Golden Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday (August 12), while the Bulls travel to Cape Town for a clash with Western Province at Newlands.
Tries: Burger Odendaal, Ruben van Heerden
Conversions: Tony Jantjies (2)
Penalties: Jantjies (2)
Tries: S’busiso Nkosi, Franco Marais, Lukhanyo Am, Garth April
Penalties: April (2)
15 Manie Libbok, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Franco Naude, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Johannes Prinsloo (captain), 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Jan-Henning Campher, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Matthys Basson, 18 Abongile Nonkontwana, 19 Shaun Adendorf, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Dries Swanepoel, 22 JT Jackson
15 Garth April, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Lukhanyo Am, 11 S’busiso Nkosi, 10 Inny Radebe, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit