An overseas win remains elusive for the Western Force in 2017 after a 37-12 loss to the Sharks.
Despite staying with the Durban side for most of the match, two quick tries just before half-time ultimately proved the major difference between the teams.
Sharks flyhalf Curwin Bosch slotted a penalty in the fourth minute, continuing to add to his 2017 tally, and a second five minutes later made it 6-0.
The Force pressed, camped deep in their attacking half, but it looked like the Sharks would be the ones to break the deadlock, before a knock-on was detected in the lead-up.
It was rookie Force winger James Verity-Amm who snatched the five-pointer instead, a superb runaway effort that put the visitors in the lead for the first time.
As the half ticked down, the threat to that advantage grew, with the Sharks piling on the pressure and a Curtis Rona yellow card compounding the pain.
Things began to unravel for the Force, with the Sharks’ Jeremy Ward and Jean-Luc Du Preez scoring two tries in as many minutes to take an 11-point half-time lead.
Bosch broke the second half duck, with a penalty just after the break, before finishing off a tricky kick in the 56th minute to score, before being replaced by Pat Lambie.
Force fullback Marcel Brache hit back for the Force, giving them a slice of hope, but a 72nd-minute try to Sharks centre Lukhanyo Am ended that chance.
The Force travel to Buenos Aires next week to take on the Jaguares, in the second week of their overseas tour, sitting nine points adrift of conference leaders, the Brumbies.
Tries: Ward, Du Preez, Bosch, Am
Cons: Bosch 3, Lambie
Pens: Bosch 3
Tries: Verity-Amm, Brache
Yellow card: Curtis Rona (37’)