Jean Deysel's first try for the Sharks wrapped up a 19-8 win over the Cheetahs which takes them six points clear atop the Super Rugby standings.
The game was locked at just 3-3 after a scrappy first half but Francois Steyn landed three penalties in the second half and, after Rayno Benjamin crossed for the Cheetahs, Deysel responded.
That was enough for Jake White's side to make sure of victory and take full advantage of the Chiefs' earlier defeat to the Crusaders.
Elgar Watts' penalty gave the Cheetahs an early lead before Tim Swiel atoned for missing his first effort and levelled the scores.
Swiel should have put his side ahead before half-time but a second simple miss from the tee, and another from a drop-goal attempt, meant the scores stayed locked together.
Steyn duly took over kicking duties for the second period and when the Cheetahs twice infringed at scrums, he took full advantage to put his side 9-3 to the good.
He added another penalty after Cheetahs flanker Heinrich Brussow was sin-binned for killing the ball at a ruck - but the visitors crossed the whitewash while down to 14 men.
Hennie Daniller charged down Steyn's kick and Benjamin took the loose ball in for the opening try, but Watts' conversion dropped short to leave the Cheetahs trailing 12-8.
And the Sharks ruthlessly snuffed out any hopes of a comeback five minutes later when Swiel showed greater ability with ball in hand than he had with the boot. The youngster dummied to the line and when he was held up by the defence, flanker Deysel followed up and plunged over for the match-clinching score.
Steyn converted and his penalty miss on the hooter was of no consequence as his side ran out comfortable winners.