The Sharks picked up their fifth Currie Cup victory of the season on Saturday as they cruised past the EP Kings 53-24 at Kings Park in Durban.
Fly-half Lionel Cronje scored 23 points as the hosts ran in seven tries, including two for Paul Jordaan, with the visitors replying with three.
However, the quality of the defending champions proved too much for the Eastern Cape outfit as they remained without a win after eight games.
The win for the Sharks kept them in third position on the table, level on points with the Golden Lions, who have a game in hand.
The Sharks began excellently by dominating all the early possession and territory as the Kings battled to find their footing.
Before the visitors could string together an attack, the hosts had their first try as Lourens Adriaanse went in after eight minutes – following good initial work by Jordaan and then the forwards after a strong drive.
The home side continued to dominate and extended their lead through a Cronje penalty, awarded when the Kings’ defence failed to roll away.
There was finally some joy for the Port Elizabeth outfit when JC Astle was punished for illegally holding on to the jersey of Tobie Botes at a ruck, allowing Gary van Aswegen to kick over their first points.
The Kings were reduced to 14 men after 17 minutes when Martin Ferreira was punished for not rolling away.
As a consequence of the penalty, Lwazi Mvovo scored the second try when he ran onto a pass at the base of a powerful five-metre home scrum.
The third try followed within the space of four minutes, a score created by the pace and precision pass of Mvovo as he drew two defenders and sent the ball wide for Andre Esterhuizen to run in on the left.
The bonus-point try followed just after the half hour when Cronje intercepted a loose pass by the visiting backs and ran in to score under the post.
The Sharks fly-half also benefited from an error as the ball was knocked on by Ntabeni Dukisa over the line as he tried to pass.
The Kings did manage to score their first try before the interval with Paul Schoeman going in on the right after an excellent lineout drive by his fellow forwards.
The next one came immediately after as Esterhuizen’s poor tackle attempt allowed Shane Gates to slip through and score under the post.
But Cronje kept the scoreboard ticking with his second penalty, before Tim Whitehead dealt his former side another blow by going in under the post after 53 minutes following a missed Cronje tackle.
However, Jordaan crossed in the right corner two minutes later to give his side more breathing space.
Replacement Stephan Lewies and centre Jordaan then crossed twice in the final three minutes to take the Sharks past 50 and give them the comfortable win.
Tries: Adriaanse, Mvovo, Esterhuizen, Cronje, Jordaan 2, Lewies
Con: Cronje 6
Pen: Cronje 2
For EP Kings:
Tries: Schoeman, Gates, Whitehead
Con: Van Aswegan 3
Pen: Van Aswegan
Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 S’bura Sithole, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Tera Mtembu (c), 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 JC Astle, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick. Replacements 16 Franco Marais, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Stephan Lewies, 19 Johan Meyer, 20 Conrad Hoffmann, 21 Tim Swiel, 22 Tonderai Chavhanga.
EP Kings: 15 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 14 Ronnie Cooke, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Ntabeni Dukisa, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Tobie Botes, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Devin Oosthuizen, 6 Stefan Willemse, 5 Darron Nell (c), 4 Steven Cummins, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Albe de Swardt, 17 Charl du Plessis, 18 Cameron Lindsay, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Tim Agaba, 21 Kevin Luiters, 22 Scott van Breda.
Referee: Ben Crouse
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry, Eduan Nel