The Sharks kept alive their play-off chances when they beat the Waratahs 26-21 in a thrilling Super Rugby match in Durban.
However, the home side left it late before sealing the win as the Waratahs held an eight-point lead at one stage in the second half.
The hosts' hero was their young fly-half Patrick Lambie, who contributed 21 points via a try, four penalties and two conversions.
This fixture was a shootout for a top six spot and with the win the Durban-based side have leapfrogged above the Warathas in the points standings.
The Sharks are in fifth position on the table with 47 points while the Waratahs are in sixth spot with 46 points. Both teams have played 13 matches.
The first half saw both teams giving the ball plenty of air and the hosts held a slender 13-11 lead at the break.
The start of the second half saw the Waratahs continuing with their enterprising play and they were rewarded when their fly-half Daniel Daniel Halangahu, a late replacement in the starting line-up for Berrick Barnes, crossed over after a well-worked move from a scrum in the Sharks' 22 metre area.
The Waratahs also received a penalty which their full-back Kurtley Beale goaled which gave them a 21-13 lead.
Instead of kicking on to seal the match, the men from Sydney changed to a conservative approach, opting instead to kick away most of their possession.
This tactic played into the Sharks' hands who stuck with their initial game-plan.
They were rewarded for their efforts in the 56th minute when JP Pietersen pounced on a loose pass from Beale close to the halfway line. He then beat an onrushing Waratahs defender before racing away for a well deserved try.
The Sharks' other try came early in the first half thanks to a moment of brilliance by Lambie.
The young playmaker received the ball from a scrum on the Waratahs' 22 metre line and then slipped past Halangahu and inside centre Tom Carter to touch down under the posts.
Shortly after this, the Sharks' tactic of running the ball from all areas of the field backfired on them when Halangahu won a turnover on his own tryline and ran a full 80 metres before offloading to Lachlan Turner who scored in the corner.
Poor discipline by the Sharks' Jean Deysel saw him spending 10 minutes in the sin bin midway into the second half after he attacked Carter off the ball around his neck at a ruck.
For the Sharks Bismarck du Plessis and Deysel gave sterling performances in the tight-loose while the Waratahs' hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau was his team's star performer up front.
In the end this match was won by a Sharks side who stuck to their game-plan. Their opponents will be kicking themselves for throwing a way a deserved lead. This result could come to haunt the Waratahs when the tournament reaches its play-off stages.
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Stefan Terblanche, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Conrad Hoffmann, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Eugene van Staden, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 John Smit (c)
Replacements: 16 Tendai Mtawarira, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Gerhard Mostert, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22 Riaan Swanepoel.
Waratahs: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Sosene Anesi, 10 Daniel Halangahu, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Dean Mumm (c), 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Al Baxter, 18 Pat O'Connor, 19 Hugh Perrett, 20 Brendan McKibbin, 21 Ben Batger, 22 Atieli Pakalani.
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)