Sharks boss Jake White made a disappointing return to Canberra after his side lost to his former team, the Brumbies, on Saturday.
White, who guided the Brumbies to last year's final, feels his side had points-scoring opportunities but did not take them in the 16-9 defeat.
The Durban-based team's chances were not helped by an off-night from their Springbok goalkicker Frans Steyn, who missed three penalty attempts and was astray with his general kicking.
White's return to Canberra added spice to the top-of-the-table showdown, after the former World Cup-winning Springbok coach quit the Brumbies halfway through a four-year contract last year.
It was a triumph for former Wallaby fly-half and now coach Stephen Larkham, whose Brumbies side shaded the Sharks in a physical forwards-dominated contest with both teams obsessed with kicking for field position.
There was a total of 98 kicks in the stop-start match with very little ball in hand attacking movements.
"We had our chances in the beginning to get the scoreboard rolling and maybe create a bit of distance, but we missed those," said White.
"The game goes in momentum. When we had the momentum we lost it and when they got the momentum they took charge of it.
"I'm sure we'll play the Brumbies again this year so you'd rather win the next one."
While Steyn was having problems, finishing with three penalties from six attempts, Christian Lealiifano landed three penalties and a conversion from seven shots to keep the home side ahead in the second half.
"It was a hugely rewarding result, any time you get a win over the Sharks is good, especially in the context that they have been leading the competition this year," said Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen.
"The boys had to dig deep in tough conditions but I thought we managed it well."