The Sharks' playoff hopes suffered a blow when they were surprisingly beaten 27-16 by off-form Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.
The victory was a first in five games for the Cape Town-based side, who were missing skipper Siya Kolisi through illness and had rookie Josh Stander in the flyhalf position. They have now completed their Super Rugby season.
The Sharks, though, wasted a great opportunity to take advantage of the Rebels and the Jaguares' defeats earlier in the day. The Durban-side go into the last round of fixtures three points behind the Rebels. They have to beat the Jaguares in their final fixture of the round-robin stage and hope the Highlanders beat the Rebels in Dunedin.
The Stormers outscored their opponents three tries to one in a tough, physical battle. Lock Cobus Wiese, centre EW Viljoen and flying winger Raymond Rhule scored for the home side. Stander kicked three conversions and two penalties for the home side.
Replacement wing Kobus Van Wyk managed the only try for the visitors, while flyhalf Robert du Preez kicked three penalties and conversion.