A late penalty try wasn't enough for the Cheetahs as they suffered their third successive Currie Cup loss when they went down 29-33 to the Sharks in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon.
Playing with a vastly different team than in their first two losses due to Pro14 commitments, the Cheetahs were awarded a penalty try in the 78th minute to narrow the deficit to just four points, but the Sharks were able to see out the game to earn another bonus point win.
Earlier, the Sharks opened the scoring when Marius Louw found Lwazi Mvovo in the trams to cross the line untouched for the first points of the match.
That score was quickly matched by the Cheetahs when Louis Fouche took a quick tap and dotted down from five metres out.
The flyhalf had a hand in his team's second try when he gathered a kick and offloaded to Lloyd Greeff who handed the Cheetahs the lead for the first and only time in the match.
It was a scrappy affair in Bloemfontein, with handling errors aplenty from both sides, before the visitors resorted to making use of their forwards.
In the five minutes either side of half time the powerful pack played their part in three tries as Chiliboy Ralepelle, Wian Vosloo and then Ralepelle again scored from the back of the maul.
The Sharks thought they had put the result beyond doubt when Dan du Preez scored via a good piece of skill from Carmeron Wright soon after Fouche got his second.
However, there were some moments of panic in the dying minutes as the home team were awarded a penalty try with just two minutes to go, but they sealed the game for a crucial win on the road.
Cheetahs - Tries: Louis Fouché (2), Lloyd Greef. Conversions: Louis Fouché (2). Penalty: Louis Fouché.
Sharks - Tries: Lwazi Mvovo, Chiliboy Ralepelle (2), Wian Vosloo. Conversions: Rober du Preez (3), Curwin Bosch.