Cheetahs head coach Naka Drotske praised new signing Joe Pietersen after his debut performance in the win over the Sharks.
The former Stormers full-back was used at fly-half against the Sharks, with his tactical kicking and goalkicking both proving to be major factors.
The Cheetahs struggled last year but started 2015 with a bang by causing a major upset before going on their bye week.
"It was a very special win over a team with exceptional quality," Drotske told Netwerk24.
"Tactically we were excellent. It was exactly how I wanted it. Our intensity on defence was outstanding. From the middle part of last year, we started paying special attention to man-on-man defence.
"Tactical kicking made up a big part of our game plan and in this aspect Joe and Willie le Roux played an important role.
"Joe was very good and made a big difference. We also scrummed well and it was a performance where every guy showed character and we played for each other."