Sharks coach Gary Gold was disappointed with his side despite beating the Sunwolves 40-29 in Durban on Friday.
The Sharks will now travel to Wellington to play the Hurricanes in the quarter finals. The Sharks beat the Hurricanes 32-15 earlier this season with a sublime performance in Durban.
Gold rued errors and discipline that ended up costing his side a bonus point win and a mental victory as they go into the quarter-finals.
“We were in fits and starts again, I thought it was a great start to the game and it looked like we could get ourselves into a commanding position. Then errors and penalties let them back into the game again and it ended up making it a tough night,” Gold told Eastcoast Radio.
“It's the story of our lives you know, if we do what we say we were going to do and we’re ruthless with our discipline then we’re effective but we can’t be letting teams back into the game like we did there.”
The Sharks boss found the relatively close win particularly infuriating considering the standard they hold themselves to and how they played against stronger opposition earlier in the season.
“I don’t think it was a mirror of how we played against New Zealand teams and how we played up until the break. I’m disappointed with the performance but under the circumstances it was a potential banana skin for us,” Gold said.
“The guys got stuck in the second half against a team that had nothing to lose and are pretty well coached. They play a good brand of rugby and they are never going to go away. It was one of those games where you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
“If you win by 50 points then people say the opposition were poor and if you are in a scrap like we were in then it wasn’t good enough. But by our standards, we could have and should have been a lot better than that.”