The Sharks moved to the top of the Super Rugby standings with a hard-fought 33-19 victory over the Jaguares in Durban.

Leading by 10 points at the break, the South African outfit were able to extend their lead early in the second half before holding on to inflict a third defeat of the season on their South American opponents.

The Sharks were ahead after just four minutes when some lovely hands saw the ball worked out wide to big lock Hyron Andrews, who scythed through the defence to score.

A Makezole Mapimpi try was chalked off a few minutes later when the TMO spotted a knock-on in the build-up, but the hosts were soon over again anyway when a quick tap-and-go caught the Jaguares defence napping, allowing Sikhumbuzo Notshe to cross the line for their second five-pointer.

It had been all Sharks in the opening stages, but the visitors hit back in the 18th minute when flyhalf Joaquin Diaz Bonilla produced a great cross-kick to find Santiago Carreras, who fended off Aphelele Fassi for the try.

A penalty kick after some cynical play from the Jaguares allowed the Sharks to stretch their lead once again, and they were soon over for try number three when Fassi broke the line and ran all the way up the field, a quick recycle finding Andre Esterhuizen on the right for the score.

The Jaguares were proving hard to shake, however, and shortly before half-time they crossed for their second try after setting up a maul from an attacking lineout, with Joaquin Tuculet eventually finishing off after some patient build-up as it finished 22-12 to the home side at the break.

While the visitors had managed to stay within touching distance in the first half, things soon got away from them after the break.

Curwin Bosch nailed two penalties in the opening 10 minutes to extend the Sharks' lead before Kerron van Vuuren scored their fourth try in the 51st minute after forcing his way over the line from a lineout maul.

The Jaguares chances of making a game out of it were dealt a serious blow when scrumhalf Gonzalo Bertranou was sent off just after the hour mark for tackling his opposite number without the ball.

There was a bit of late drama when a Jaguares try was ruled out for a forward pass in the build-up, with the TMO also spotting a no-hands tackle from Fassi that earned him 10 minutes in the bin.

The Jaguares did manage to pick up a third try courtesy of Sebastian Cancelliere five minutes from time, but it was too little too late as the Sharks held on to collect all four points.

Sharks - Tries: Hyron Andrews, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Andre Esterhuizen, Kerron van Vuuren. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (3). Penalties: Curwin Bosch (3). Yellow cards: Aphelele Fassi.

Jaguares - Tries: Santiago Carreras, Joaquin Tuculet, Sebastian Cancelliere. Conversions: Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, Domingo Miotti. Yellow cards: Gonzalo Bertranou.

Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Madosh Tambwe.

Jaguares: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Santiago Carreras, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente (captain), 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Rodrigo Bruni, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Tomas Lezana, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti Pagadizaval, 3 Joel Sclavi, 2 Julian Montoya, 1 Mayco Vivas.
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Lucas Paulos, 20 Santiago Grondona, 21 Sebastian Cancelliere, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Santiago Chocobares.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds (South Africa), Aimee Barrett-Theron (South Africa)
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans (South Africa)