The Sharks were forced to come from behind to claim a 29-18 win over the Griquas in a tight tussle in Durban on Friday.
With the game in the balance, a late Lwazi Mvovo try secured victory and a four-try bonus point for the Sharks in an error-riddled game.
The hosts will happily take the five league points but will not be content with their display as numerous fumbles and poor decisions left the hosts with a lot of work to do to get past a Griquas outfit fighting for a place in the play-offs.
Dale Chadwick, Jean Deysel, Meyer Bosman and Lwazi Mvovo all scored tries to give the defending champions a bonus point win and one that puts them in good position for a home semi-final with three games remaining.
The results sees the Sharks rise to provisional second in the Currie Cup standings while the Griquas must head back to Kimberley empty handed and are just one point clear of the Blue Bulls, who face the leader the Lions on Saturday.
The Sharks led 14-10 at half time but went behind early in the second half when Matthew Rosslee crashed over for the visitors' second try.
The game was also delayed for a brief period in the first half after a floodlight failure, but the hosts will be relieved with the positive result.
Rudi Vogt, a late replacement in the Griquas side after Earl Rose withdrew, put his team ahead with an early penalty to help them dominate the opening quarter.
Abrie Minnie's men claimed the first try of the evening for Griquas in the 18th minute when the ball was spread wide to Rocco Jansen and he broke one tackle on the left, before offloading to Vogt to run in under the posts.
The Sharks replied through Deysel who showed good strength on the right to set up a ruck and Chadwick then carried the ball over, with Frederic Michalak converting.
A floodlight failure just before the half-hour mark stopped play for 12 minutes.
The break seemed to reinvigorate the Sharks and they went over for a second time when Deysel spun away from the base of a five metre scrum and stretched out for the line.
Michalak made no mistake with the extras and the men in black took a 14-10 lead into the break.
After the restart, though, they slipped back into their shell and were punished nine minutes in when Rosslee found his way in on the left.
Vogt missed the conversion, but made amends with another penalty just before the hour after the Sharks were penalised for collapsing the scrum.
Plumtree then reshuffled his backline, withdrawing Michalak, Ross Cronje and Sibusiso Sithole with Charl McLeod, Louis Ludik and Adrian Jacobs introduced, a move that also saw Bosman shift to flyhalf.
It proved a good decision, with the new number 10 bursting through the line after a clever show of the ball and then himself converting to put the Sharks back in front with 17 minutes to play.
Mvovo then added his 18th career Currie Cup try close to the end, with Bosman collecting a penalty to help his team leap frog next week's opponents Western Province on the standings.
For the Sharks:
Tries: Chadwick, Deysel, Bosman, Mvovo
Cons: Michalak 2, Bosman
Tries: Vogt, Rosslee
Pens: Vogt 2
Sharks: 15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Marius Joubert, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Eugene van Staden, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Ross Skeate, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Adrian Jacobs, 22 Louis Ludik.
Griquas: 15 Rudi Vogt, 14 Dusty Noble, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Matthew Rosslee, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Riaan Viljoen, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Jonathan Mokuena (c), 7 Davon Raubenheimer, 6 Justin Downey, 5 Frikkie Spies, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Ivann Espag.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Steph Roberts, 18 Leon Karemaker, 19 Marnus Schoeman, 20 Hanno Coetzee, 21 Monty Dumond, 22 .
Referee: Jason Jaftha